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Pre-K programs take biggest state funding hit ever

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The report comes at a time when early childhood education is getting more attention than ever, at least at the federal level. In his State of the Union message, President Obama highlighted the importance of quality pre-K and urged a major expansion.

“Every dollar we invest in high-quality early education can save more than seven dollars later on – by boosting graduation rates, reducing teen pregnancy, even reducing violent crime,” Mr. Obama said in his speech. In his budget, he requested $75 billion over 10 years to help states dramatically expand preschool options for low-income children.

“If ever there was a report that makes the case for the need for President Obama's preschool-for-all proposal, this report is it,” said Education Secretary Arne Duncan, speaking at a release of the NIEER report on Monday.

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