One fad in education is to enact a taxpayer-funded preschool program, especially if it’s universal.
The Commonwealth Foundation provides a short list of of reports on the weaknesses of that approach.
- Large, government-run preschool improve student performance upon entry, but all gains disappear by third grade or sooner.
- States with “universal preschool” have no long-term academic gains (in fact, they have declined).
- Preschool conveys few benefits for middle class or upper income students:
- Education tax credits, allowing school choice among existing private preschools, is a more effective policy strategy.
Given the financial situation of Kansas, I doubt that we will soon see the expansion of public preschool programs in the state get much traction.