Posted: 4:34 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 27, 2012
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution
Georgia’s popular pre-k program
• Launched in 1992 for families below a designated income level, opened to all families in 1996 and administered by Bright from the Start: the Georgia Department of Early Care and Learning. Has served more than one million students.
• During the 2011-12 school year, 82,868 children (about 59 percent of the state’s 145,000 4-year-olds) attended 3,909 classes. Classes are in public schools, private and nonprofit child-care centers, military bases and other education centers.
• In 2012-13, funding provided for 84,000 children in 3,818 classrooms. Classes operate 170 days per year, five days per week, 6.5 hours per day, with a maximum 22 students per class.
• Pre-k teachers are required to have a bachelor’s degree in early childhood education or a related field. (Teacher certification is not required, but 76 percent of pre-k lead teachers are certified.)
• Curriculum is aligned with Georgia’s Pre-K Content Standards, Georgia Early Learning Standards (birth-age 3) and Georgia Kindergarten Common Core Georgia Performance Standards. A new set of standards will be released in the spring that are for children birth to age 5 and that align with the new Georgia Common Core Performance Standards.
• Funding comes almost exclusively from Georgia Lottery proceeds — $301 million in 2011-2012, $299 million in 2012-2013.