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Shelby County: Outcomes Financing Supports 1,000 Seats of High-Quality Pre-K

December 4, 2019

From the NACO blog article: https://www.naco.org/blog/shelby-county-outcomes-financing-supports-1000-seats-high-quality-pre-k

The challenge.

As the 2019–2020 school year approached, Shelby County, Tenn., was set to lose 1,000 pre-k seats in dozens of classrooms due to the expiration of a multi-year federal Preschool Development Grant.

Shelby County government was determined not only to sustain the existing pre-k seats, but to expand high-quality pre-k. The county, together with community advocates and their partners at the City of Memphis, set out to give every low-income four-year old in the county access to a quality early childhood education by 2025. Through the leadership of Seeding Success, a non-profit focused on improving outcomes for families in Shelby County from cradle to career, the county and the city created a public-private partnership to support their early childhood education goals.

Research shows that high-quality early childhood education is a critical and effective strategy for improving educational and health outcomes throughout life, returning as much as $7 for every $1 spent. Yet, according to a Department of Education report, only about 40 percent of four-year-olds are enrolled in publicly funded pre-k, and even fewer than that are enrolled in the highest quality programs.

Read the entire article here: https://www.naco.org/blog/shelby-county-outcomes-financing-supports-1000-seats-high-quality-pre-k