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State ranks high in study for pre-K programs

CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- A study ranks West Virginia fifth in the nation for the percentage of 4-year-olds enrolled in pre-kindergarten classes.

The study by the National Institute for Early Education Research found that about 61 percent of 4-year-olds were enrolled in state-funded preschool in 2011-12, up from 58 percent the year before.

The report found West Virginia increased preschool state funding in 2011-12 to about $6,000 per child, compared with about $5,600 the year before. Both figures ranked eighth among the states. The national average is about $3,800.

West Virginia's pre-K program continued to meet eight of 10 quality standard benchmarks. The unmet benchmarks involve degree requirements for teachers and their assistants.

The Legislature this year passed a bill effective in July 2014 to require preschool aides to attain higher levels of education.



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