With all the talk about expanding pre-kindergarten programs nationally and locally, a new report this week came with a surprise.
In the 2012-13 school year, the number of 4-year-olds in state-funded pre-K across the country declined for the first time in at least 10 years, said a group of researchers from Rutgers University, with 9,000 fewer students than the year before.
The drop, they said, was driven by big declines in California and a few other states. In California alone, enrollment dipped by 15,000 students.
In Washington, enrollment stayed about the same — about 8,700 students who are 3 and 4 years old.
But this state is on the cusp of a big increase, said Amy Blondin, spokeswoman for the Department of Early Learning.More