Education Report: Vermont

Assessing Pre-Kindergarten Education in Vermont
PRS Briefs
PRS Policy Brief 0607-02
Friday, May 4, 2007

In 2004, education expenditures constituted an average of 21.4 percent of state budgets nationwide. As the largest single expenditure for most state governments, public education programs come under scrutiny for their effectiveness and quality and are constantly adapting to fit the needs of constituents as well as federal standards. In order to provide the best possible education to their students, 40 states currently fund some form of pre-kindergarten education. Four of the ten remaining states have federal Head Start programs, while six have no pre-kindergarten program. Vermont currently implements preschool programming through the state-funded Early Education Initiative and Public Preschool Partnerships as well as through a number of federal grants and initiatives. This report compiles documented potential benefits and drawbacks of preschool educational programming and examines the current state of Vermont's pre-kindergarten programs. It also assesses policy options of maintaining the status quo versus expanding the current programs as well as the general benefits and drawbacks of means-tested and universal preschool education programs.