The National Institute of Early Education Research recently released its annual report on the state of preschool education in America (see our previous post). The institute’s annual report card rates each state’s commitment to providing its youngest residents with quality, horizon kidsaccessible, well-funded preschool education by evaluating state-funded pre-kindergarten programs against 10 standards of excellence. Ohio did not fair well in the 2011 report card, meeting only 2 of the institute’s 10 benchmarks.

Here’s how Ohio’s state-funded preschool program stacks up against what other states are doing (click here to read Ohio’s complete report card):

  • During the 2010-2011 school year Ohio’s state-funded Early Childhood Education program served 5,700 children -- just 1% of 3-year-olds and 2% of 4-year-olds -- from families with incomes up to 200% above the federal poverty level, reflecting massive state budget cuts in 2009 and 2010. An additional 31,092 Ohio children were served by the federally-funded Head Start program and 14,523 by special education programs. Only a third of Ohio school districts offer the state program. In access to early childhood, Ohio ranked 36 nationwide for 4-year-olds; 19 for 3-year-olds.
  • Since 2008 state spending per child has been halved, dropping to $3,942 in 2011. Ohio ranked 20th in state spending on preschool education; 26 with the inclusion of federal funds.
  • Ohio has no comprehensive early learning standards.
  • Teachers are required to have a 2-year AA degree in early childhood education rather than the benchmark 4-year BA, although Ohio did reach the benchmark for specialized teacher training.
  • Ohio met the national benchmark for providing screening, referral and support services.

Next time: Class sizes and teach/student ratios

Summer Camp Registration