Education

Short-Answer Response Assessment Submission Form

Short Answer 1
Describe each of the following public funding sources and its intended purpose. Responses should be a least 1 paragraph in length for each funding source.

a. Head Start

The nation’s oldest large scale public preschool program, Head Start, dates back to the 1960s. Administered by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, it serves preschoolers from low-income families with a comprehensive child development approach that includes preschool education and health, nutritional, and social services. Funding for Head Start programs goes directly from the federal government to service providers who in turn must follow federally mandated program standards. Most families must have an income below 100 percent of the federal poverty level in order to be eligible, but programs deemed to have served all those eligible at the 100 percent of FPL can enroll children from families earning up to 130 percent of FPL. about half of children enrolled receiving a full day of preschool five days a week. Numerous studies find that Head Start has positive long-term impacts on child health and development, but the most rigorous study to date indicates that Head Start needs improvement if it is to produce strong long-term gains.

Administered through the US department of health and human services, this federal grant is provided to local grantees with the goal of providing comprehensive child development programming for children who are low income and their familes. Qualified families are at 100% of the federal poverty level. Children served with head start are ages 3-5 and aged birth to 3 within early head start.

b. Child care subsidies

Child care subsidies are another source of funding that can be used for preschool education. However, since a primary motivation for child care subsidies is providing care for sufficient hours per day to support working parents, education is often not a top priority. The federal government administers two large child care funding streams through the Department of Health and Human Services: the Child Care and Development Fund (CCDF) and Temporary Assistance to Needy Families (TANF). CCDF focuses on working families who earn less than 85 percent of the median income in the state where they reside. TANF serves needy families as they are defined at the state level.6 The passage of welfare reform in 1996 spurred a period of growth for CCDF and TANF but funding has leveled off or, in the case of TANF money for child care, declined. CCDF spending has been about $5 billion a year and the amount of TANF funds spent on child care is about $3 billion per year.7 The ARRA added $2 billion to CCDF over two years assuming it is all spent in 2010 and 2011. There are few state reporting requirements for TANF. A little more than half of the children in CCDF attend child care centers. Quality regulation is essentially left up to the states, many of which have weak standards. About one quarter of children in CCDF are in the care of providers who are not required to be licensed or regulated. Most funds are distributed through vouchers.8 Only six states set reimbursement rates for child care at the federally recommended levels in 2010.9 Studies have raised concerns that subsidized care can be of such low quality that it has little or no positive effects on learning and development of children prior to kindergarten and might even have modest negative effects.10 Both CCDF and TANF require states to provide matching funds. Total federal spending on child care subsidies was about $13 billion in 2007 and about 2.2 million children through age 13 were served.11 Slightly more than half of child care participants in CCDF were younger than age 5 as of 2007.12

Administered through the us department of health and human services this federal grant requires state matching. It is designed to provide childcare assistance to families who are low income. Children between the ages of birth and 13 can qualify based on family income.

c. Child care tax credits

The Child and Dependent Care Tax Credit (CDCTC) is a federal program that enables parents to pay for childcare and early education with pre-tax earnings. The CDCTC is a tax credit that reimburses parents for a percentage of qualifying child care expenses of up to $3,000 per child for a maximum of two children under age 13 (). The percentage starts at 35 percent (for incomes under $15,000) and falls by 1 percent for every additional $2,000 in income until it reaches 20 percent (for incomes over $43,000). The maximum credit per child falls from $1,050 to $600 as income rises. The federal tax credit tends to be accessed more at higher income levels because it is nonrefundable, and few low-income families have federal income tax liabilities. Also, actual credits are lower than the limits would suggest because of the limited tax liabilities of low-income families. Relative to the costs of child care, tax credits provide modest assistance for most families, and they are not linked to the quality of care purchased. In recent years, the average credit claimed was about $535 per family.13 At best, the credits have minimal effects on the quality of child care purchased by middle-income families. This makes the federal credits an inefficient approach to raising the quality of young children’s early learning experiences. A recent California study indicates that policymakers should be concerned about the poor quality of early learning programs purchased by parents with moderate to high incomes.14 Unless Congress acts, in 2011 the credit amounts will revert to the significantly lower 2001 levels. Twenty-seven states (of 41 with a personal income tax) and the District of Columbia have a dependent care tax credit or deduction. Most, but not all, of the state tax provisions provide less per child than the federal credit. Some cities with income taxes also offer credits. In 13 states, the credits are refundable so that even families with no income tax liability can claim the credit. Maine and Vermont have provisions that provide higher credits for higher quality child care. One related policy that has been suggested to increase the impact of tax credits on quality is to link tax credit amounts to the quality levels in state Quality Rating Systems. Most states have these systems in place and those that don’t are in the process of developing them.15

Funding is provided through federal dollars and 28 stat treasury departments, with the goal of providing credits for childcare expenditures against federal and state income taxes. Children between the ages of birth and 13 can qualify- credits are based on income level.

d. Title 1

Title 1 of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA, also known as No Child Left Behind) provides funds that can be used to provide early childhood education so that disadvantaged children have a greater opportunity to obtain a high-quality education. Administered by the U.S. Department of Education, Title I funds through ESEA can be used to offer an extensive range of educational services to children not only in grades K–12, but also from birth to age 5.16 Since these funds are available to most school districts,17 they are a potentially important source of funds for districts interested in offering preschool education. Districts have two potential options available.18 If at least 40 percent of district children are in poverty, pre-K can be made available to all students regardless of their family income level. Where fewer than 40 percent of children are in poverty, pre-K can be provided to students identified as academically at-risk. Of course, there is nothing to prohibit such districts from funding services for additional children not meeting the income eligibility requirement from other sources, including parent fees. Title I funds can be used to supplement existing programs such as state-funded pre-K and Head Start. An additional $10 billion in Title I funding was made available through the ARRA.19

Funded through the us department of education, these preschool services are designed for children who are disadvantaged. Qualified schools serve children where 40% of the child population are at the poverty level or who have been identified as academically at risk.

e. Early childhood special education (IDEA)

The Individuals with Disabilities Act (IDEA) provides federal funding for services to young children with disabilities. IDEA, Part B provides states with funds for children with disabilities ages 3 to 5. Thus, the program includes kindergarteners as well as preschoolers. Consistent with IDEA, every state guarantees a free appropriate education to all children with disabilities ages 3 to 5. In fall 2009, 6 percent of 4-yearolds and 4 percent of 3-year-olds were served nationwide.20 Many of these children also are served by “regular” state-funded pre-K and Head Start. States vary considerably in the percentage of preschool children receiving special education (from 3 percent to 14 percent of those ages 3 and 4), in part because they have the discretion to serve children with developmental delays that fall short of constituting a disability. However, federal financial support for preschool special education has not kept pace with enrollment or inflation, and state and local governments have assumed a greater proportion of the total cost over time. It is not known how much is spent on preschool special education by state and local governments, as this has not been estimated in detail since 1999, but it could easily be $6 billion annually today.21 IDEA, Part C provides states with funds to serve infants and toddlers (up to age 3) with developmental delays or conditions that have a high risk of developmental delay. States also may choose to serve infants and toddlers they judge to be “at risk” of a developmental delay if early intervention is not provided. All states participate, but, as with Part B, definitions of the eligible population and the percentage of children served differ among the states. In fall 2008, the percentage of children under age 3 served ranged from less than 1.5 percent in the District of Columbia and Georgia to about 6.5 percent in Massachusetts and Hawaii.22 For the nation as a whole, a little more than 2.5 percent of infants and toddlers received publicly funded early intervention services. The services funded also vary by state, but they typically are quite modest, delivering on average 1.5 hours per week of services in a home visit.23 Total spending on early intervention likely exceeds $5 billion annually (the figures we rely on are over a decade old).24 The federal government pays only about 10 percent of the cost through IDEA. However, the federal government also pays through Medicaid and other programs and private insurance and parents also pay for some costs. Therefore, it is unlikely that the state share is $5 billion. Our estimate of $3 billion for state expenditures should be considered a “ballpark” figure, at best.

Funded through the us department of education, dollars are provided through federal, state, and local funds to provide special education services for preschool aged children who have been identified as having disabilities or developmental delays.

f. State-funded pre-kindergarten

In recent years, the states have been active in providing publicly funded preschool education. As of the 2009-2010 school year, all but 10 states provided some sort of program. Taken together, they are the largest public investment in young children not connected to a federal program even though some state programs are quite small. These initiatives take a variety of approaches and are funded, controlled, and directed by state government.25 Providers of pre-K services follow state-specified standards and operate in a variety of settings in addition to public schools. These include private child care providers, Head Start centers, faith-based settings, and family child care providers. Most state programs target children who are at risk of starting school behind and failing later. Family income is the most common criterion for eligibility but many other criteria are used as well. All state pre-K programs are voluntary. Across the nation, 27 percent of 4-year-olds (more than 1.1 million children) were enrolled by state pre-K as of the 2009-2010 school year. Only 4 percent of 3-year-olds (about 170,000 children) were enrolled.26 In the vast majority of states, pre-K is primarily or entirely a program for children one year before kindergarten. State spending on pre-K initiatives totaled over $5 billion for the country in fiscal year 2009. Local school funding added at least another $500 million, possibly much more.27

[10]I mproving Public Financing For Early Learning Programs

The coverage of state pre-K programs varies greatly from state to state. A number of states have committed to serving all children at age 4. Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Iowa, New York, Oklahoma, and West Virginia have programs designed to serve all 4-year-olds now or at some time in the future.28 Not all of these states currently enroll a high percentage of children at age 4. Some states that have not committed to serve all children at age 4 nevertheless serve larger percentages of the population than some states that have made universal access a policy goal. Illinois is the only state committed to serving all children at ages 3 and 4. A few other states serve significant percentages of their populations at age 3. On the other end of the spectrum are 10 predominantly rural states that did not fund any pre-K programs as of 2010.29 State pre-K programs also vary widely in their funding per child and standards.30 As a result, effectiveness is likely to be very different from one state to another. Several studies indicate that many state pre-K programs have positive effects on learning and development, sometimes quite large.31 A number of state programs appear to produce larger learning gains than Head Start and much larger gains than subsidized child care.32

Funded through the state department of education within 29 states and jointly administered within 11 states, the goal is to provide preschool services to qualifying children who have been identified as being at risk. Children generally qualify based on family income.

Rubric
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Not Present

1

Needs Improvement

2

Meets Expectations

3

Exceeds Expectations

Sub-Competency 1: Describe public funding sources to support early childhood programs and initiatives.

Learning Objective 1.1: Describe various public funding sources.

Description is missing.

Description of the public funding sources and their purposes are partial or incomplete.

Response includes a clear description of each public funding source and its intended purpose.

Demonstrates the same level of achievement as “2,” plus the following:

Response clearly describes an additional public funding source and its intended purpose.

Short Answer 2
Read the descriptions of the two early childhood learning centers below. Both Checkers and Smart Start will be seeking funding from one of several sources: Head Start, child care tax credits, Title I, or early childhood special education (IDEA). Determine which funding sources are most appropriate for each center and explain why. Your response should be 4–6 paragraphs in length.

Checkers Early Childhood Learning Center

Checkers Early Childhood Learning Center is a comprehensive program providing a full range of services to children ages 6 weeks to 5 years and their families. There are several locations throughout Colorado, New Mexico, and Arizona. Checkers also provides a full range of educational, social, and health services to children and families who are low income. Services for adults and families are available through family medicine and mental health. Licensed professionals provide comprehensive evaluation, early intervention, and therapeutic services.

Smart Start Early Childhood Learning Center

Smart Start Early Childhood Learning Center provides a secure, nurturing, and stimulating preschool environment that helps children to understand themselves as individuals as well as members of a community. We believe that a good early-school experience can set the tone for a lifetime of learning. Through daily lessons, community involvement, and self-exploration, we strive to spark and encourage creativity and imagination in each child. Our preschool programs strive to establish comfortable environments for each child to reach new developmental milestones. Services for the community are provided at no out-of-pocket cost to families who meet income guidelines.

Your Response
Enter Your Response Here

Rubric
0

Not Present

1

Needs Improvement

2

Meets Expectations

3

Exceeds Expectations

Sub-Competency 1: Describe public funding sources to support early childhood programs and initiatives.

Learning Objective 1.3:

Explain how various public funding sources apply to early childhood learning centers.

Explanation is missing.

Explanation is incomplete or vague.

Response includes a clear explanation of how the public funding sources applies to the early childhood learning center in the scenario.

Demonstrates the same level of achievement as “2,” plus the following:

Response explains why the other funding sources are not appropriate.

Short Answer 3

In addition to public funding, both Checkers Early Learning Center and Smart Start Early Learning Center have decided to pursue funding from private sources. Research private funding sources that would be applicable for each of the centers. Choose one source for each center and explain why the center is a good candidate for receiving this funding. Explain the process for obtaining the private funding sources you identified. The response should be 6–8 paragraphs in length.
Your Response
Individuals, corporations and foundations in the United States contributed more than $295 billion to nonprofits in 2006 Annual fund. Begin asking people for money now, regularly, twice a year. Simply ask for unrestricted gifts to your school; but not for your capital campaign—not yet. An annual fund builds the donor database and acquaints people with the idea of giving to and being thanked for their contributions to your school. Regularly asking for money keeps you focused on the reasons you are seeking financial support through contributions. You become accustomed to describing your needs; that is, composing a case for support. You may choose to target alumni, parents, and friends differently. Whatever your plan, an annual fund builds donor relations and donor giving histories—an important first step in preparing for the major gifts needed in a capital campaign. • Major gifts. The Board of Directors should always have a standing committee devoted to identifying, cultivating, and ultimately soliciting contributions from persons capable of making major gifts. The board must define the term “major gift” within the school’s context and needs. It might be $10,000 (or less) or $100,000 (or more). If a capital campaign is anticipated within two or three years, delay asking for an assured major gift until it can be incorporated into the campaign either as an “advance” or “leadership” gift. Part of cultivating donors might include keeping them abreast of campaign plans and the important role they will play as leadership donors. When the campaign is completed, your school will have experience in developing relationships with major donors. There will always be a need for major gifts. • Deferred or planned giving. Another standing committee of the Board of Directors should be assigned the task of encouraging deferred or planned gifts, such as bequests and annuities. Creating a “society” that recognizes planned giving donors can be an effective tool to promote these gifts. An official from the bank where your school has its accounts may be willing to sit on your board and assign a staff member to preside over that committee. While the bank officer can oversee the technical considerations, someone else may assume responsibility for a proactive stance towards deferred gifts. An active and visible development program for deferred gifts adds to the credibility and long-range context for a capital campaign. • Special event. Identify and establish a special annual fundraising event. In addition to the amount of money that is to be raised, be clear about other goals, such as good publicity and public relations. Be aware that a large percentage of the ticket price for special events may not be tax deductible, and much of the other money collected at a special event is “earned income” from sales (not tax deductible) rather than “contributed income.” The IRS expects vigilant oversight of this. If someone buys a ticket and receives a meal, the value of the meal must be indicated. If your special event is a silent or live auction and an attendee successfully bids on a pair of opera tickets, you may not indicate a charitable contribution up to the value of the tickets. The value of the special event to your future capital campaign includes identifying volunteer leaders and workers, adding names of school friends to the database, and recording amounts of

Rubric
0

Not Present

1

Needs Improvement

2

Meets Expectations

3

Exceeds Expectations

Sub-Competency 2: Evaluate private funding sources and processes for obtaining funding to support early childhood programs and initiatives.

Learning Objective 2.1:

Describe private funding sources.

Description is missing.

Response describes a vague or inappropriate private funding source for the early childhood center.

Response includes an accurate and relevant description of the private funding source appropriate for the early childhood center.

Demonstrates the same level of achievement as “2,” plus the following:

Response explains the benefits and challenges of seeking private funding.

Learning Objective 2.2:

Explain processes for obtaining private funding sources for early childhood learning centers.

Explanation is missing.

Response includes a limited or incomplete explanation of how to obtain private funding for each source.

Response includes a clear explanation of how to obtain each private funding source for an early childhood learning center.

Demonstrates the same level of achievement as “2,” plus the following:

Response identifies stakeholders involved and/or resources to support centers in the process for obtaining private funding.

Short Answer 4
Read the following reports about Universal Pre-K and its funding implications. Answer the questions that follow. Your response should be 4–6 paragraphs in length.

Barnett, W. S., & Hustedt, J. T. (2011). Improving public financing for early learning programs (Policy Brief Issue 23). Retrieved from http://nieer.org/resources/policybriefs/24.pdf

Citizen’s Budget Commission. (2013). The challenge of making universal prekindergarten a reality in New York state. Retrieved from http://www.cbcny.org/sites/default/files/REPORT_UPK_10222013.pdf

a. Explain the challenges New York is experiencing in funding universal pre-kindergarten.

b. Describe at least three potential funding sources for Universal Pre-K described in the Citizens Budget Commission report.

c. How might policies like universal pre-kindergarten impact funding for early childhood centers and the children and families they serve?

Your Response
Explain the challenges New York is experiencing in funding universal pre-kindergarten. Challenge one: New York’s Current Pre-k Program is Still Far From Universal Challenge two: New York Spends Less per Pupil than National Norms and Neighboring States but Reaches More Students Challenge three: The Fiscal Implications of Fully Funding High-Quality UPK Funding for the second and third years of the program followed the schedule in the original legislation – $100 million and $225 million for school years 1999-00 and 2000-01, respectively.17 But school districts were slow to initiate or expand programs, and in the 2000-01 year districts used only $183.9 million. Districts that did not use their full allocation were permitted to place the unused portion in a reserve fund for use the next year.18 The plan to increase funding for the program in subsequent years was thwarted by the recession that began with the burst of the dot-com bubble in 2000 and worsened after the terrorist attack on the World Trade Center. The appropriation for the 2001-02 school year was $204.7 million, less than half of what had been scheduled in the original legislation. School districts spent $176.8 million that year. The State’s fiscal troubles continued into the 2002-03 school year. UPK funding was kept at prior year levels of $204.7 million, and state funds were supplemented with federal funds from the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families, or TANF, program.19 Funding remained flat at $204.7 million until school year 2006-07 when an additional $50 million was appropriated.20 In 2006-07 district programs served 62,929 children. Further expansion was put on hold in fiscal year 2008-09 as State leaders began to grapple with the Great Recession. No new districts were allowed to enter the UPK program, and by 2009-10 the allocation was reduced to $414.1 million.24 Funding for 2010-11 was kept at the prior year level, and in 2011-12 it dropped to $384.3 million. School districts that had supplemented programming with their own funds cut services because of their own budget pressures. Yonkers and Poughkeepsie, for example, went from full-day to half-day programs.25 In 2011-12, New York’s school districts spent $380.7 million of the $384.3 million allocation. Enrollment was 103,573, resulting in per pupil allocations of $3,676 on average. In 2012-13, $385 million was allocated, and districts spent $374.4 million. New York’s large city districts, the “Big 5,” served 63 percent of pupils in the program in school year 2012-13 with per pupil grants ranging from $2,951 in Yonkers to $5,636 in Rochester. (See Table 2.) New York City received $220 million to serve 57,759 pupils, an average per pupil of $3,810. The second largest grant went to Buffalo, which received $13 million or $4,731 per pupil to serve 2,697 pupils. Other districts among the top ten grant recipients include East Ramapo, Brentwood, Newburgh, Albany, and Utica. Per pupil grants for these districts ranged from $2,866 for East Ramapo to $4,493 for Newburgh. In 2013-14 the goal of universality continues to be elusive. Fully 232 districts have not yet begun a UPK program, and some dropped their programs in the past several years because of budget pressures. SED estimates that there are approximately 230,000 four-year-olds in the state,27 but the $385 million appropriated will likely provide funding for less than half that population.28 The additional $25 million for pre-k expansion in districts that apply for and win competitive grants are not yet distributed. Although public school pre-k is generally less available in more affluent districts, a high proportion of children from affluent families attend some pre-k program. Among the poorest children in New York State (i.e., those in households with income at 50 percent or less of the federal poverty threshold), an average of 57 percent of four-year-olds attended nursery school or other preschool over the 2007 to 2011 period increasing to 64 percent for children from households with income at 100 to 150 percent of the poverty level. Interestingly, participation dips to 60 percent for children in the 150 to 200 percentof-poverty income bracket – perhaps reflecting the more limited availability of public programs. Above that income level participation rates climb to 83 percent at the highest income levels. (See Figure 1.) It is likely participation rates at the lowest income levels are enhanced by the targeted public programs but these programs do not provide pre-k to every four-year-old. With high participation rates at the upper-income levels and a very limited number of publicly funded pre-k seats, it is clear that private funds are supplying preschool programs for most children in those households Describe at least three potential funding sources for Universal Pre-K described in the Citizens Budget Commission report. The options differ in the level of per pupil support they provide. One standard is New Jersey’s so-called Abbott districts, recipients of relatively high per pupil spending as a result of a court order. Most observers agree these schools provide high quality pre-k programs that are beneficial to students. The first scenario assumes New York’s pre-k programs would be funded at the average per pupil amount of $12,846 spent by New Jersey’s Abbott districts in 2012. The second scenario assumes that per pupil spending for pre-k in each district is equivalent to K-12 general education spending per pupil in that district.40 It is not unreasonable to assume – given the quality expectations and regulation that New York would impose if the mandate to provide a public education were extended to all younger children – that per pupil spending for the pre-k population would equal K-12 general education spending. For the four-year-old population, the estimated added cost of Abbott quality programs would be $1.4 billion annually. (See Table 5.) Adding three-year-olds increases that figure to $3.0 billion. Because K-12 per pupil spending in New York is higher than what is spent on pre-k in Abbott districts in New Jersey, that scenario increases the estimates of incremental cost to $2.0 billion and $4.2 billion for four-yearolds and three- and four-year-olds, respectively.41 If pre-k becomes an extension of public education in New York, then local districts would likely be required to fund part of the cost of the service just as they are for grades K-12. If school districts were required to pay the same proportion as the state’s K-12 foundation aid formulas require, then state taxpayers would bear $648 million in incremental costs and local taxpayers would bear $737 million for the expansion to an “Abbott-style” program for all four-year-olds. The estimates increase to $1.4 billion and $1.6 billion state and local share, respectively, if three-year-olds are included. Again, the figures are higher using New York school district spending norms. Providing for all four-year-olds at the K-12 general education per pupil spending level would cost the State an estimated $883 million additional and the school districts $1.1 billion. Adding three-year-olds at the higher spending level would increase incremental state costs to $1.9 billion and school district costs to $2.3 billion. The estimated school property tax levy increases needed to fund an expanded local funding mandate are also shown in Table 5. For an Abbott-style program for all four-year-olds the average school tax levy increase would be 2.3 percent. Adding three-year-olds increases the estimate to 5.0 percent. If per pupil spending were equivalent to K-12 general education spending the estimated school levy increase needed would be 3.4 percent for all four-year-olds and 7.1 percent for three- and four-year-olds. Two more targeted approaches shown in Table 5: (1) extending pre-k services to every child in districts with a child poverty rate above 25 percent, and (2) extending services to every child who qualifies for free or reduced-price lunch. These targeted scenarios are less costly. The estimated added cost of providing an Abbott-style program for all four-year-olds in districts with 25 percent child poverty rates is $406 million. Offering a program at the K-12 per pupil amounts for those districts would add an estimated $719 million. The estimated school tax levy increase necessary to fund these options ranges from 0.7 percent to 1.2 percent. The second option, a “money follows the child” approach based on free or reduced-price lunch (FRPL) eligibility, is estimated to add costs of $457 million for four-year-olds and $1.3 billion for three-and fouryear-olds for an Abbott-style program. To fund a program for all FRPL students at average K-12 spending per pupil would add an estimated $796 million for four-year-olds and $1.9 billion for three-and four-year-olds. School tax levies are estimated to rise from 0.7 percent to 3.1 percent for this alternative. Identifying state and local resources of a magnitude needed to support high-quality universal pre-k for all three- and four-years olds is a challenge. New York State is slowly recovering from the Great Recession, the worst economic downturn since the 1930s. During the difficult budget years of the crisis New York’s leaders cut nearly every area of state spending. Education aid for K-12, the single largest item in the state budget, was no exception; school districts endured cumulative reductions of $2.2 billion from peak to trough over the period.42 Although K-12 school aid has increased in the latest two years, it has still not returned to pre-recession levels. Structural budgetary problems remain a feature of New York’s fiscal outlook with budget gaps expected to grow from $1.7 to $3.0 billion by fiscal year 2017-18.43 Local school districts lack the ability unilaterally to raise large sums to finance program expansions. The state’s statutory property tax cap holds levy increases to 2 percent unless 60 percent of voters approve a larger increase. Federally-mandated special education costs, costs for transporting students, and the contractually obligated longevity increases for teachers typically cause costs to rise more than revenues. Local voters have shown themselves to be unsympathetic in districts that have tried to override the tax cap. Twenty-eight school districts sent budgets that exceeded their tax capped levies to the ballot box, and all but seven were rejected by voters.44 Rather than present voters budget increases that exceed levy caps, the vast majority of school districts have opted to stay under them. Although state leaders could waive the tax cap for the addition of a new initiative such as expanded prek, they are still likely to run up against the same barrier that made the tax cap popular – New York’s exceptionally high local tax burden. The local tax burden is $80.60 per $1,000 of personal income – 72 percent higher than the national average and 38 percent higher than New Jersey, which ranks second How might policies like universal pre-kindergarten impact funding for early childhood centers and the children and families they serve? Even so, about a quarter of 4-year-olds and half of 3-year-olds do not attend preschool, and many of those who do attend receive only poor quality services. Some programs are of such low quality that they actually harm child development. The nation’s children would greatly benefit from additional public funding for preschool programs. Public funding for early care and education reaches barely half of young children in poverty at age 4 and the percentage aided is much less for children 3 and under. Children from middle-income families receive even less public funding and those above the poverty line but below the median income have the lowest rates of enrollment in public or private programs. Some emphasize providing low-cost child care so parents may work. Others emphasize improving children’s learning and development including health and nutrition. Not only is access highly limited, but public funding strategies lead to wide variability in who has access to high-quality early learning programs based on where children live and a variety of eligibility criteria. In addition to the many children who are un-served, many others are served by poor-quality programs. Child care subsidies and tax credits currently do little to improve the quality of early learning programs and can even encourage the use of poor quality care. Some receive child care or preschool of such low quality that it actually harms their development, and others attend programs that do little to improve their long-term educational and economic success

Rubric
0

Not Present

1

Needs Improvement

2

Meets Expectations

3

Exceeds Expectations

Sub-Competency 3: Analyze the impact of political, economic, and social policies and trends on programmatic funding streams for early childhood settings.

Learning Objective 3.1:

Explain fiscal challenges in meeting policy initiatives.

Explanation is missing.

Response provides a vague or partial explanation of the fiscal challenges in meeting policy initiatives.

Response provides an accurate explanation of the fiscal challenges in meeting policy initiatives.

Demonstrates the same level of achievement as “2,” plus the following:

Response explains how these challenges are relevant to other initiatives or settings.

Learning Objective 3.2: Describe funding sources to meet policy initiatives.

Description is missing.

Response provides a vague or partial description of funding sources to meet policy initiatives.

Response provides an accurate and thorough description of three funding sources to meet policy initiatives.

Demonstrates the same level of achievement as “2,” plus the following:

Response describes more than three funding sources.

Learning Objective 3.3: Explain how policies and initiatives impact funding for early childhood programs.

Explanation is missing.

Response provides an incomplete explanation of how policies and initiatives impact funding for early childhood programs and the children and families they serve.

Response provides a thorough explanation of how policies and initiatives impact funding for early childhood programs and the children and families they serve.

Demonstrates the same level of achievement as “2,” plus the following:

Response uses specific examples to support the explanation.

References:

Zero to Three (2016). Tracking Federal Child Care and Early Education Policy retrieved from

https://www.zerotothree.org/resources/1110-tracking-federal-child-care-early-childhood-education-policy

Citizen’s Budget Commission. (2013). The challenge of making universal prekindergarten a reality in New York state. Retrieved from

http://www.cbcny.org/sites/default/files/REPORT_UPK_10222013.pdf

Roach, A. H.(2009). Fundraising basics for private school facilities. Retrieved from http://www.ncef.org/pubs/fundraising.pdf

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