The Business Council supports the Executive Budget proposal to provide statewide, universal pre-K. Specifically, the proposal would provide for the phase-in of a five-year plan, with $75 million available for the 2014-15 school year (as part of a new $100 million statewide universal pre-K program for 2014-15) and $200 million for the 2015-16 school year.
Under current state law, charter schools are unable to provide pre-K programs. More than 90 percent of charter schools in New York are located in high-needs districts, and recent studies show that many charter school students outperform their peers in district schools. For these reasons, The Business Council strongly supports a further amendment to state law to allow charters the ability to provide pre-K programs as well.
According to the National Institute for Early Education Research, a meta-analysis of 123 recent peer-reviewed pre-K studies found that, on average, the effects of high-quality programs (particularly, those that focused on individualized teaching and small-group learning) remained substantial by the third grade.
Benefits of high-quality pre-K programs include: a benefit-cost ratio of up to 17:1; a higher rate of return for disadvantaged children when compared to their peers from higher income families; and increased earnings.1
For these reasons, The Business Councils supports this proposal and urges the adoption of an amendment that would allow charters to provide pre-K programs.
1.U.S. Chamber of Commerce Institute for a Competitive Workforce (2010). Why Business Should Support Early Childhood Education (p. 34).