Regents 2008 Board Report
Regents 2008 Board Report: Elementary, Middle, Secondary and Continuing Education
Early Childhood Education
It is a simple proposition: if we invest in our children’s education early and get them off to a good start, the field will be level for all of them as they enter elementary school. And that means less money and effort will have to be spent down the road trying to bring some children up to speed with their peers.
Consistent with Regents policy, Universal Pre-Kindergarten (UPK) and Full-Day Kindergarten opportunities for children across New York were greatly expanded in 2008.
- 448 districts of the 677 eligible districts are now implementing high quality UPK, an increase of 53 districts over the previous year.
- 106,800 eligible 4-year olds are being served (88% of the total 121,120), up from 93,000 the previous year.
- 15 counties are implementing UPK in every school district in the county.
- 636 districts now operate full-day kindergarten. 45 districts have applied for planning grants to implement full-day kindergarten, or to implement or expand UPK.
Early Childhood Education Goals for 2009
Despite the fiscal challenges facing the State, the Regents understand that it is critical to continue funding to increase access to UPK and full-day K for all eligible children. The importance of early childhood education cannot be overstated; yet, somehow, there are still over 14,000 eligible 4-year olds who are not being served in UPK programs. And there are still a handful of districts that do not offer full-day K. This is unacceptable. We must continue to expand early childhood education opportunities for all New Yorkers. Universal Pre-Kindergarten must become truly universal.