The Cost of Pre-School: It’s More Than You Imagine
The answer is about $18,586 for each three-to four-year old enrolled. According to a December 2007 report, The Cost of High-Quality Pre-School Education In New Jersey, it cost state taxpayers $723 million for 38,900 Abbott district pre-schoolers during the 2006-2007 school-year.
Funding for Abbott pre-school comes from two agencies: the Department of Education (DOE) and the Department of Human Services (DHS).The report warns current state funding may not be sufficient because “compensation for pre-school teachers may need to be increased”:
The DOE’s estimate of its total expenditures in 2006–07 is $501 million with DHS spending an additional $222 million.
First, the program requires a specific credential and must include professional development. Second, Abbott pre-school teachers in private settings receive less generous benefits than teachers in the public schools. Third, preschool teachers have less experience than the average teacher because the program is new; as these teachers gain experience the salary structure is such that their pay will increase. Finally, as the program expands, higher wages must be offered to attract more workers.The report’s conclusion:
Our cost analysis shows that current spending is somewhat—but not grossly—below what is needed.Not counting the cost of constructing new schools or classrooms to accommodate tens of thousands of additional students.
The above calculations assume no additional facilities costs.We’re talking quality, affordable – no, no that’s what they say about healthcare.