The perpetual debate over targeted vs. Universal Pre-K

Wednesday, November 4, 2015
Abbie Lieberman
Ed Central

There is growing consensus that access to pre-K is important and that governments should invest more in early education. But should services be available to all children or just those who policymakers have determined need them the most? When resources are limited, is it better to provide more generous supports to a select group or modest services to all? There is less consensus around the answers to these questions. As more states and districts create and expand pre-K programs, policymakers continue to wrestle with the best way to provide it. We’ve recently seen programs unfold using both approaches–from New York City’s new universal pre-K program to Minnesota’s recent decision to fundtargeted scholarships rather than universal access.

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