Years of research and our experiences in the Abbott school districts have shown that high quality preschool for at-risk children is the single most productive step we can take to improve the quality of education in our state. When at-risk children attend high quality preschool, they enter kindergarten more ready to learn. The gap between these children and their more economically privileged classmates is dramatically reduced.
An essential component of the School Funding Reform Act of 2008 is an expansion of high quality preschool to (1) all three- and four-year-olds in District Factor Group (DFG) A and B school districts, (2) to all three- and four-year-olds in DFG C and D school districts with 40% or greater low-income students, and (3) all other low-income three- and four-year-olds in the remaining school districts. This expansion will be phased-in over time.