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How have New Orleans' charter-based school reforms affected pre-kindergarten?

In this study, we examine how the growth of charter schools in New Orleans affected pre-kindergarten (pre-K) program offerings as the school system transitioned from a centralized school system to an almost-all-charter district. In Louisiana, charter schools can opt into offering state-subsidized pre-K for low-income and special-needs students, but the per pupil funding level is far below the average cost of educating a pre-K student. In New Orleans' decentralized setting, schools offering pre-K must cover this funding gap from other sources of revenue. School districts and charter schools have different incentives for offering optional educational services, such as pre-K. In order to better understand school-level decision making, we interviewed school leaders about their reasons for offering or not offering pre-K. We also analyzed data from 2007 to 2015 to determine whether charter schools that offer pre-K programs gain a competitive advantage over those that do not. (author abstract)
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Fact Sheets & Briefs
United States

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