Availability of state-funded pre-K varies widely

WASHINGTON (AP) — A new report says the availability of state-funded pre-kindergarten programs varies widely from one part of the country to another.

More than 9 in 10 4-year-olds in the District of Columbia attended such a program during the 2012-13 school year, while 10 states have none.

Some states have fairly high enrollments. More than 7 in 10 4-year-olds in Florida, Oklahoma and Vermont are in such programs.

Lawmakers praise such programs, but the number of children enrolled in state preschool programs saw a modest decline of about 9,200 children in the last school year — the first such reduction in a decade.

The report released Tuesday is from the National Institute for Early Education Research at Rutgers University in collaboration with the Education Department's National Center for Education Statistics.

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