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Here & Now
Thu February 20, 2014
Why Oklahoma’s Universal Pre-K Is Successful
President Obama has vowed to offer federally-funded universal early childhood education. Oklahoma has been a model state for universal pre-kindergarten.
Since 1998, the state has funded early education for 4-year-olds, requiring certified teachers and small classes.
Last week, Steven Dow, executive director of Community Action Project (CAP) of Tulsa, the state’s largest anti-poverty program that was involved in establishing pre-K as state policy, testified in front of the New York City Council on how Oklahoma’s program works.
“First and foremost, there was adequate funding to ensure the program that we were delivering to four-year-olds was going to be a high-quality program,” Dow says. “We said that our state’s common education system was no longer a K-12 system, instead it was a pre-K-12 system.”
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