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New National Report Highlights Oklahoma's Preschool Access, Standards

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A new report says the availability of state-funded pre-kindergarten programs varies widely from one part of the country to another.

In Oklahoma, Florida, and Vermont, more than seven in 10 four-year-olds are enrolled in such programs, while 10 states have none.

The report released Tuesday is from the National Institute for Early Education Research at Rutgers University in collaboration with the Education Department's National Center for Education Statistics.

NIEER called Oklahoma an “exemplary” state when it comes to early childhood education, and cited a recent NPR series on preschool in Tulsa. It ranked the state third in access, and says it meets nine of 10 quality benchmarks by the organizations.

“Oklahoma shows what is possible when our elected officials work together across different branches and levels of government to [build] strong early education programs,” NIEER director Steve Barnett said in a statement.

Nationally, the number of children enrolled in state preschool programs saw a modest decline of about 9,200 children in the last school year — the first such reduction in a decade.


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