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The following report is from Wallet Hub.

With research showing that pre-K education results in better test scores, less crime and economic benefits, the personal-finance website WalletHub today released its report on 2019’s States with the Best & Worst Early Education Systems as well as accompanying videos.

In order to determine the best early education systems in America, WalletHub compared the 50 states and the District of Columbia across 12 key metrics. The data set ranges from share of school districts that offer a state pre-K program to number of pre-K quality benchmarks met and total reported spending per child enrolled in pre-K.

States with the Best Early Education Systems States with the Worst Early Education Systems
1 Nebraska 42 New Hampshire
2 District of Columbia 43 New York
3 Maryland 44 Minnesota
4 Vermont 45 Arizona
5 Arkansas 46 Kansas
6 West Virginia 47 Massachusetts
7 Rhode Island 48 North Dakota
8 Illinois 49 Missouri
9 Alaska 50 Mississippi
10 Kentucky 51 Indiana

Best vs. Worst

  • 14 states, such as Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Maryland and South Carolina, have the highest share of school districts that offer state pre-K program, 100 percent, which is 11.5 times higher than in New Jersey, the state with the lowest at 8.67 percent.
  • Oklahoma has the highest share of 4-year-olds enrolled in pre-K, pre-K Special Education and Head Start programs, 85.60 percent, which is seven times higher than in Utah, the state with the lowest at 12.30 percent.
  • Hawaii has the highest income requirement for state pre-K eligibility, $56,790, which is 6.9 times higher than in Minnesota, which has one of the lowest at $8,230.
  • The District of Columbia has the highest total spending per child enrolled in preschool, $18,580, which is 23.9 times higher than in North Dakota, which has one of the lowest at $777.
  • The District of Columbia, Iowa and New York, have some of the lowest monthly child care co-payment fees (as share of family income), 1 percent, which is 17 times lower than in Hawaii, the state with the highest at 17 percent.

To view the full report and your state or the District’s rank, please visit:

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