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Calculating the Costs of Pre-K Education in Southwest Florida

Photo: U.S. Army by Stephen Baack
Pre-school children listen as a teacher reads a book.

A new study from the School of Education at Florida Southwestern State College calculates the costs of getting three- and four-year old students prepared for kindergarten across Southwest Florida. The cost comes out to roughly $12,000 per student for an ideal combination of small classes, experienced head teachers, and materials. But the study finds a roughly $8,000 gap between what's needed and what federal and state funds provide.

Dr. Larry Miller, dean of FSW's School of Education and Charter Schools, joins the show to discuss the new study, and how it tracks the cost of pre-K education, helps define what “kindergarten-ready” means, what it takes for pre-K students to reach that readiness, and what drives the differences in costs for early childhood education at private, rural, and district-run head start centers.

Matthew Smith is a reporter and producer of WGCU’s Gulf Coast Live.
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