Oklahoma’s pre-kindergarten has long been a bright spot in education, and a new report out this week shows the program still shines. The state ranked second in the country for access among 4-year-olds and met 9 of the 10 quality benchmarks measured by the National Institute for Early Education Research at Rutgers University, which compiles the annual report.
For 2021, 64% of eligible 4-year-olds enrolled in pre-K, which is offered in every school district in the state. Only the District of Columbia reported a higher percentage. While many states limit pre-K enrollment by income, Oklahoma has offered free pre-K to all children since 1998.
Preschool enrollment declined in nearly every state amid the coronavirus pandemic, but Oklahoma’s decline was smaller than in most states at about 6% percent of 4-year-olds (see details about Oklahoma’s ranking here.)
The report highlights the state Education Department’s inclusion of preschool in its coronavirus recovery plan and the governor’s signing of the “Oklahoma Play to Learn Act” in 2021, which encourages early elementary teachers to let children learn through play.
— Jennifer Palmer
The Latest from Oklahoma Watch
An Oklahoma Watch review of Tulsa police policies, hours of body camera footage and interviews [Read More…]
Oklahoma Watch has filed a lawsuit against the Office of Management and Enterprise Services over [Read More…]
A Mile In Another’s Shoes: Perry Lott is rebuilding his life after spending 31 years [Read More…]
- New laws addressing how schools handle LGBTQ issues have been passed in several states, legislating curriculum, teachers’ word choice and participation in sports. What’s behind the push? [Education Week]
- Schools try to think long-term when it comes to substitute teachers. [The Hechinger Report]
- Following requests for legal guidance from Stillwater Public Schools and Gov. Stitt’s Secretary of Education, State Superintendent Joy Hofmeister asked for an attorney general’s opinion on bathroom protocols for transgender students. [The Oklahoman]
Help Us Make a Difference
Oklahoma needs high-quality investigative journalism. That is our mission at Oklahoma Watch. We produce stories that hold government and public officials accountable and that make transparent what some prefer to keep secret. We depend on financial support from readers like you to sustain our coverage. Help us make a difference.
Thank you to our principal organizational sponsors and funders
for their generous support.