Under the Dome

NC Pre-K quality high, enrollment stagnant, report says

The state’s public pre-school program for 4-year-olds maintained its high quality in 2015, but enrollment was largely stagnant, according to a national report on early childhood education released Thursday.

NC Pre-K met all 10 standards for high quality established by the National Institute for Early Education Research at Rutgers University. Teachers are required to have college degrees and special pre-k training, class sizes are below the 20-student maximum, and all classes must meet program standards, whether they’re in public or private settings.

About 27,000 4-year-olds were enrolled in NC Pre-K in 2014-15, about 234 more than the previous year, according to the report. NC Pre-K is open to 4-year-olds whose families meet income guidelines, who are in military families, or who are considered to be at risk of academic failure.

The state continued to rank 24th nationally in student access. It ranked 20th in state spending and 11th in total spending.

The state House this week passed a bill requiring the state Department of Health and Human Services to study the cost of Pre-K slots.