An evidence base is emerging that demonstrates significant ROI for universal pre-K, but the quality and execution of programs are crucial to success.
As technology and global competition have reshaped the economy, educational attainment has become a crucial determinant of individual and regional economic success. States with the highest levels of educational attainment have the highest per capita income. Almost all the economic gains since the Great Recession have gone to demographic groups with high educational attainment. There is now a clear premium on improving education.The traditional focus on secondary and post-secondary systems is too narrow for improving education. There are well-documented disparities in K-12 education, but even that is too narrow a lens. Studies show that lower income children are already at a disadvantage when they enter kindergarten, lagging behind their wealthier peers before they have even started.