District Administration December2017 - 16

BeyondtheNews
Big city districts are taking the lead in
funding pre-K programs as states work
more slowly to expand access.
"While states continue to make
progress in expanding access to early
education, cities have increasingly taken
it upon themselves to supplement those
resources with local contributions," says
Albert Wat, senior policy director at the
Alliance for Early Success.
Usually, city preschool measures get
funded through a dedicated city tax.
For example, Denver and San Antonio have expanded access to pre-K
through revenues from sales tax. Seattle
does so through a property tax, while
Philadelphia uses a tax on sodas. In San
Francisco and Wake County, North
Carolina, local leaders dedicated funding
from the city or county's general revenues to pre-K programs.
Adjusting formulas
While administrators cannot control tax
revenue, they do have control over the
use of federal funds, particularly Title
I and Title II. ESSA also makes it clear
that districts can use Title II funding
to support professional development for

32% OF 4-YEAR-OLDS

were served in state-funded
preschool programs
in 2015-16

32%

Source: National Institute
for Early Education Research

16 December 2017

GETTYIMAGES.COM: MONKEYBUSINESSIMAGES

Districts find creative ways to fund pre-K

early childhood educators.
In about a dozen states and the District of Columbia, pre-K is financed
through the state's school funding formula, which means districts are operated
as pre-K through 12. "It's tremendously
successful-it's built into the K12 formula and is treated like any other grade,"
says Megan Carolan, director of policy
research at the Institute for Child Success, an independent, nonprofit education research organization.
If a district receives funding to serve
preschool students with disabilities, it
can use "reverse mainstreaming" to bring
in non-special needs students to serve as
models in the classroom, says W. Steven
Barnett, senior co-director of the National Institute for Early Education Research
at Rutgers University.
"Essentially you have a lot of infrastructure supported by the preschool special ed program," Barnett says. "You have
a need for integration with non-special
needs kids. The marginal cost of adding
those kids is very close to zero."
Administrator action
Early childhood education programs
significantly boost students' chances of

educational and economic achievement
over the course of their lives, according
to a recent study from the National Bureau of Economic Research.
And administrators have much to
gain from championing preschool,
Wat says.
Whether funding comes from local,
state or federal sources, administrators
who have access to such resources can
ensure more children start kindergarten
on a stronger footing and ready to engage intellectually and socially.
If a district does not offer pre-K,
administrators should learn more about
existing early education programs in
the community, which may already
receive local, state or federal resources.
Administrators can also connect with
local leaders-including mayors,
council members, business leaders and
parents-to develop a local financing
strategy.
"By partnering with these organizations and pooling resources, district
leaders may be able to serve more children, extend the length of the day or
provide more services even with limited
new dollars," Wat says.
-Alison DeNisco

District Administration


http://www.GETTYIMAGES.COM

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of District Administration December2017

District Administration December2017 - Cover1
District Administration December2017 - Cover2
District Administration December2017 - 1
District Administration December2017 - 2
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District Administration December2017 - Cover3
District Administration December2017 - Cover4
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