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Making it Count: Early Learning Investments in MN By the Numbers

8/17/2016 1:43:10 PM

Last week, Governor Dayton and Lt. Governor Smith announced that beginning this fall, 3,302 four-year-olds in 74 Minnesota school districts and charter schools will attend voluntary pre-kindergarten, free of charge. These programs will save families thousands of dollars, while preparing Minnesota’s youngest learners for success in school and life. 
While this is an important step toward closing the state’s persistent achievement gaps and ensuring a quality education for all Minnesota kids, too many families are still left without free, voluntary pre-k programs in their communities. 
Check out the infographic below for information about this year’s prekindergarten investments and other fast facts about early learning: 
Prekindergarten in Minnesota by the numbers: Governor Dayton and Lt. Governor Smith secured $25 million for free, voluntary prekindergarten programs, 183 schools applied for funding, 74 districts received funding (10 charter schools, 14 metro area districts, 50 Greater MN districts). 52% of districts that applied were not funded. That's 6,837 4-year-olds who are missing out on free voluntary pre-k. In a 2015 study, Minnesota ranked 50th in access to full-day early learning programs. In MN, this funding will allow 1 in 5 school districts to offer voluntary pre-k. Leading researchers and economists have found that investments in early learning can yield a return on investment of $16 for every $1 spent.
*according to the Anne E. Casey Kids Count Data Book 

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