Children who attended a public pre-K school program had greater success throughout their K-12 career, including graduating at a higher rate, according to a first-of-its-kind study that followed more than 500 Michigan children for 14 years.
That study to be discussed today at a meeting of the State Board of Education,
provides fuel to growing calls for increased funding for early childhood
education in the state.
Michigan’s public pre-K program, called Great Start Readiness
Program, provides early childhood education to about 30,000 poor and
at-risk children. The study followed 338 children from Detroit, St.
Clair County, Kalamazoo, Muskegon, Wyoming and Roscommon who attended
Great Start as 4-year-olds in 1995-96, and 258 demographically similar
children who qualified for Great Start, but didn’t attend any type of
pre-school before entering kindergarten.
The results were startling.