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The Promise of PreschoolFrom Head Start to Universal Pre-Kindergarten$
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Elizabeth Rose

Print publication date: 2010

Print ISBN-13: 9780195395075

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2010

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195395075.001.0001

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Opening Doors to Universal Preschool in the 1990s

Opening Doors to Universal Preschool in the 1990s

(p.101) Chapter 4 Opening Doors to Universal Preschool in the 1990s
The Promise of Preschool

Elizabeth Rose (Contributor Webpage)

Oxford University Press

Leaders in four states, inspired in different ways by the intersection of economics and education reform, dramatically expanded publicly‐supported pre‐kindergarten in the 1990s. In Georgia, Gov. Zell Miller latched onto the idea of pre‐kindergarten as a means of improving education and boosting his state's economy; he ultimately made the program universal, creating a broad constituency. In Oklahoma, pre‐kindergarten was part of the reform demanded by the state legislature when the K‐12 system faced a fiscal crisis. Here education officials and legislators took the lead, quietly expanding their school‐based program to make it universal. In New York, early childhood advocates mobilized to implement a universal program at a time of economic growth, but were stalled for a number of years by fiscal crises and the opposition of their governor. New Jersey's preschool expansion, on the other hand, was driven by a court's ruling that the state must provide more funding to children in its most disadvantaged school districts. Each of these states helped lay the groundwork for a movement for “preschool for all.”

Keywords:   Georgia, New York, Oklahoma, New Jersey, universal pre‐kindergarten, Abbott vs. Burke, Zell Miller

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