Study ranks West Virginia as 8th best state for pre-K education

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CLARKSBURG, W.Va. — An early education can be a vital part of a child’s growth. Studies show that students in full-day pre-K programs do better on tests, are less likely to commit crimes and could potentially generate more money for the economy. Unfortunately, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, pre-school enrollment dropped.

Recently, a study was held regarding 2021’s States with the Best & Worst Early Education Systems. The study, from WalletHub, placed West Virginia as the 8th best state in the nation for pre-K education.

The ranking was based off of three categories:

  1. Access
  2. Quality
  3. Resources/Economic Support

Each category was evaluated using 12 metrics based on research by the National Institute for Early Education Research, Education Commission of the States and The National Women’s Law Center.

Source: WalletHub

Access – Total: 40

  • Share of School Districts that Offer State Pre-K Program: Full Weight (~5.71 Points)
  • Share of 3- and 4-year-olds Enrolled in State Pre-K Program: Double Weight (~11.43 Points)
  • Share of 3- and 4-year-olds Enrolled in Pre-K, Pre-K Special Education and Head Start Programs: Full Weight (~5.71 Points)
  • Presence of Waiting Lists or Frozen Intake for Child Care Assistance: Double Weight (~11.43 Points)
  • Pre-K Program Growth: Full Weight (~5.71 Points)
Quality – Total: 40
  • Pre-K Quality Benchmarks Met: Full Weight (~10.00 Points)
  • Income Requirement for State Pre-K Eligibility: Full Weight (~10.00 Points)
  • Requirement of School Safety Plans & Audits: Double Weight (~20.00 Points)
Resources & Economic Support – Total: 20
  • Total Reported Spending per Child Enrolled in Preschool: Double Weight (~5.00 Points)
  • Change in State Spending per Child Enrolled in Preschool (2018-19 to 2019-20): Triple Weight (~7.50 Points)
  • Total State Head Start Program Spending per Child Enrolled in Preschool: Double Weight (~5.00 Points)
  • Monthly Child Care Co-Payment Fees as Share of Family Income: Full Weight (~2.50 Points)

The full study can be found here.

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