When NIEER’s research team analyzed the 2009–2010 data for this year’s State Preschool Yearbook, it was not without some trepidation. News coming from the states has been anything but encouraging and we knew the previous year’s data had not captured the full impact of the recession. In many respects, the 2009-2010 data does present a fuller appreciation of the economic stresses affecting the states. For the first time since we began tracking state pre-K, total spending for the country fell in real (inflation adjusted) dollars. So did per-child spending, which now sits $700 below what states, on average, spent in the 2001–2002 school year.
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