Early education progress in Florida
A lot of the child advocates in the Voices network consider expanding support for early education a top priority. Amanda Ostrander, coordinator of grants & policy for The Children’s Campaign, our member organization in Florida, today reports on how that state is doing with this brief update:
According to the National Institute for Early Education Research (NIEER) in its State of Preschool 2011: State Preschool Yearbook, Florida ranks first in access, but is last when combining per child spending levels and measures of quality.
The NIEER report gives credit to Florida for comprehensive early learning standards. Florida fails to provide quality teachers, sufficient in-service education and training, or staff to child ratios oriented around quality.
The state’s Pre-K program was passed over last year for the $500 million Race-to-the-Top. Florida’s new head of the Office of Early Learning, Mel Jurado, has expressed a commitment to develop a research-based, stakeholder-driven initiative.