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Advancing Creative Solutions to Assure Fairness and Excellence in Education

Only 9 percent of South Carolinas poor and near-poor 8th grade students scored proficient or advanced in reading in 1998, while 29 percent of students from middle-class and affluent families scored proficient or better.
Miles To Go South Carolina (2002)

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Update Pre-Kindergarten in the South: Preserving the Regions Comparative Advantage in Education
Click to view the full article (PDF) March 2 - The Southern Education Foundation (SEF) released today a report warning Southern states against endangering critical, hard-earned gains in early childhood education the Souths most effective innovation in public education as state legislatures in the region consider substantial cuts to education programs.

The SEF report reviews how the South continues to lead the nation in offering high-quality state-funded pre-kindergarten (Pre-K) to 20 percent of the regions three- and four-year-olds --- double the rate of the rest of the nation. The SEF report also finds that more than half the states with the nations highest Pre-K quality standards are in the South. Southern legislatures are, however, facing a collective shortfall of almost $30 billion in revenues, and many are considering deep cuts to education and related programs.

In conjunction with the reports release, SEF is making available some web extras that provide additional details to the SEF study:

Chart for Southern States on State Tax Revenue Decline 2009

Graph of Southern States 2011 Expected Budget Shortfalls

Chart for Lobbyists and Lobbyist Expenditures in Southern State Capitals -2008

In 2007, SEF released its first report on the Southern states Pre-K programs: Pre-Kindergarten in the South: The Regions Comparative Advantage in Education (2007).

SEFs newest report acknowledges that there are many public and private interests competing in Southern state capitals for funding in 2011 state budgets, but demonstrates that the continued education of three and four-year old children in the Souths Pre-K programs represents a tiny but vitally important investment of state funds -- even in economic hard times.

Click to view the full article (PDF)
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