REDP: Regional Economic Development Partnership

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Report Ranks WV's Pre-K Funding Among Nation's Best

CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) — A new report on the nation’s pre-kindergarten classes calls West Virginia a beacon for what remains possible even in difficult financial times.

The National Institute for Early Education Research at Rutgers University released a report April 10 saying West Virginia continues to rank among the top five states for access to pre-K.

The report said the state enrolled 58 percent of all 4-year-olds during 2010-11. That’s up 24 percent from a decade ago.

West Virginia did slip from third to fifth place for enrollment, though, as other states expanded their programs faster.

West Virginia also cut per-child spending slightly last school year. But its national ranking jumped from 10th to eighth because the cuts were bigger in other states.

Overall, per-child funding has grown more than $1,000 since 2001-02, when West Virginia ranked 24th.

Copyright 2012 The Associated Press.