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Strategies for Financing Quality Preschool: The Wisconsin Model Wisconsin State Superintendent of Public Instruction Elizabeth Burmaster Governors Forum.

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Presentation on theme: "Strategies for Financing Quality Preschool: The Wisconsin Model Wisconsin State Superintendent of Public Instruction Elizabeth Burmaster Governors Forum."— Presentation transcript:

1 Strategies for Financing Quality Preschool: The Wisconsin Model Wisconsin State Superintendent of Public Instruction Elizabeth Burmaster Governors Forum on Quality Preschool Presented by NGA Center for Best Practices December 15-16, 2003 Orlando, Florida

2 Topics History of Four-Year-Old Kindergarten (4K) Children Served Financing Model Program Requirements Community Approaches Issues and Benefits Political Considerations

3 History: A Constitutional Commitment to Early Education Wisconsin made a constitutional commitment to early education in 1848 Article X of the State Constitution called for school districts to be as nearly uniform as practicable and free to all children between the ages of 4 and 20 years Wisconsin is one of three states that maintains state funding for 4K

4 History of Wisconsins Four-Year-Old kindergarten 1856 – First private kindergarten (two-, three-, four-, and five-year-olds) 1927 – State financial aids established for 4K 1957 – State funding for 4K programs repealed 1984 – State funding for 4K renewed 1991 – 4K allowed 20% time for parent outreach 2003 – 42% of school districts operate 4K

5 Wisconsin 4K in 2003 Universal but optional Shared commitment: two-thirds state funding one-third local funds Promotes community approaches

6 Recent Legislative Action 2001 – Legislature voted to reduce funding for districts operating 4K programs. Former Republican Governor McCallum vetoed these provisions – Legislature again voted to cut funding for districts operating 4K programs. Current Democratic Governor Doyle vetoed these provisions.

7 Children Served 23% of four-year-olds attend 4K in 42% of states school districts 16,000 children served by 180 of Wisconsins 426 school districts 1,000 children are served by approximately 80 private schools in Milwaukee Parental Choice Program 250 children are served in nine Milwaukee charter schools

8 Kindergarten Availability When offered, kindergarten must be available to all children who meet state age requirements (4 years old by September 1). Public schools are required to offer at least half day to all 5-year-olds. Over 90% of Wisconsin public schools offer full-day 5K. School districts have the option of offering 4K.

9 Revenue Estimates Wisconsin school districts generated an estimated $65 million in state revenues for 4K programs $44 million in state revenue $21 million in local revenue

10 State Funding Formula Based on student enrollment State formula counts a pupil as 0.5 full-time equivalent in membership aid if program operates: a minimum of 437 hours per year or 175 days, 2 1/2 hours per day

11 Wisconsins FormulaIncludes Family Best Practices A school district may receive 0.6 FTE in membership aid if it provides 87.5 additional hours of family activities in addition to the 437 hours of center-based programming (per year)

12 Program Requirements All 4K teachers must have a bachelors degree and an early childhood level license from the Department of Public Instruction

13 Wisconsin Statutes Require Reading and language arts Mathematics Social studies Science Curriculum specials – music, physical education, art, etc. Transportation Special education and related services

14 Wisconsin: A Local Control State 4K is universal but optional Local school boards determine: Class size Student-teacher ratio Early entrance policies Curriculum

15 Community Approach: Engaging the Stakeholders Business and civic organizations Schools Child care Head Start Parents Recreation Other programsTitle I, special education, etc.

16 Community Approach Families and their children may have options from a variety of settings: School buildings Community sites At-home support

17 Program Delivery: Traditional School-Based Model School district 4K teacher 2.5 hour program Four or five days a week Potential for wrap-around services or transportation to after-school programs

18 Program Delivery: Community Models Community sites must have licensed teacher School district hires and pays the teacher in the community setting A private program can hire and provide the teacher under a district contract Statutory school requirements apply

19 Community Approach: At-Home Support When parents want their four-year-old to stay at home: Parents are linked to educational activities and/or parenting programs Children are not counted for state reimbursement

20 Issues Competition between programs Stand-alone programs result in children moving from program to program Half-day programs may not meet the needs of working parents

21 Ongoing Needs for Collaboration Quality of curriculum in all settings Quality of teachers Developed model early learning standards Improved access to preservice programs

22 Benefits of Wisconsin 4K Funding More stable funding source Community perspective common school for the common good Provides equityavailable to all children in a community Affordable to parents

23 Additional Benefits Teachers with a bachelors or higher degree in early childhood education Constant/stable workforce; better for children Increased access to support services and resources

24 Political Considerations Competition: 4K vs. child care centers Conflicting values on role of family and government Investment in early education as budget priority Strong educational leadership by governor

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