8:41 am June 19, 2009, by Laura Diamond
Parents say they depend on Georgia’s universal pre-kindergarten program. But state auditors have released a report showing Georgia has spent more than $216 million on the program since 1996 without any data showing it works.
Researchers at Georgia State University reached similar conclusions in 2006.
Members of the Georgia House asked for the audit. Legislators said they believe the program helps, but want to see proof.
Anecdotally, many parents and elementary school teachers say the program works. Many of the classes have wait-lists of parents wanting to sign up their children.
Education experts around the country use the program as an example for others to follow as a way to get children – especially those from low-income homes – ready for school.
The agency overseeing the program, Bright from the Start: Georgia Department of Early Care and Learning, said it should have data showing results by the 2010-11 school year.
Has Georgia’s universal pre-k been worth the investment? What data do you want to see to prove it works?
If you don’t think the program is working, what else do you think Georgia should do with the money?
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