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“While the depiction of the preschool and public pre-kindergarten landscape requires significant explication, one conclusion is clear: Any summary evaluation of the impact of public pre-kindergarten programs on children’s outcomes must recognize that such programs vary greatly across states and are directed to different kinds of children.”
In this study, NC Pre-K and Smart Start were evaluated across 13 years, following children through age 11 (end of elementary school) in each of North Carolina’s 100 counties. This study has, to date, involved approximately 1 million children. It took advantage of the fact that state funding levels varied across counties and across years. The researchers asked the policymakers’ question: Does the level of state funding allocated for each of these programs to a particular county in a particular year influence the educational outcomes for the children living in those counties and years?