Chapter

Opening Doors to Universal Preschool in the 1990s

Elizabeth Rose

in The Promise of Preschool

Published in print February 2010 | ISBN: 9780195395075
Published online May 2010 | e-ISBN: 9780199775767 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195395075.003.0005
Opening Doors to Universal Preschool in the 1990s

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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

Chapter.  13217 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: History of the Americas

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