Low Marks for Indiana Early Education

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(Photo courtesy: Indiana FSSA) (Photo courtesy: Indiana FSSA)

The state of Indiana has received a failing grade when it comes to the best early education systems in America. That report comes from WalletHub, a personal finance and credit card company, which has just released the results of a nationwide study that examined the number of school districts that offer a state pre-K program, the number of quality benchmarks met and spending per child.

The company compared the 50 states and the District of Columbia across 12 key metrics. In the overall ranking, Indiana comes in last.

Here’s how WalletHub ranked Indiana by category:

  •  46th – Share of 3- and 4-year-olds Enrolled in pre-K, pre-K Special Education, and Head Start
  •  46th – Total Reported Spending per Child Enrolled in Preschool
  •  27th – Monthly Child Care Co-Payment Fees as a Percent of Family Income
  •  44th – Pre-K Program Growth
  •  51st – Change in State Spending per Child Enrolled in Preschool (2016-17 to 2017-18)

WalletHub’s analysis is based on 2017-18 data. Regardless of this one study, the state has since taken steps to improve young education. The Indiana General Assembly passed a measure during the spring legislative sessions expanding the On My Way Pre-K program to all 92 counties in the state.

On My Way Pre-K awards grants to 4-year-old children from low-income families so that they may have access to a high-quality pre-K program the year before they begin kindergarten. It's a public-private partnership in which grants are offered not only to public facilities, but also private daycare programs that meet certain criteria. The WalletHub study was focused on public school systems.

To read the full report and examine the metrics used in this study, click on the WalletHub study here.

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