The Promise of Georgia Pre-K Update: Building Life-Long Education, Current Budget Savings


Report Material

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News Coverage

Georgia pre-k cutting retention rates, study shows. The Atlanta Journal Constitution. (2011).

Pre-K for Georgia's children is no educational luxury. The Atlanta Journal Constitution. (2011).

Related Research

Time to Lead Again: The Promise of Georgia Pre-K. Southern Education Foundation. (2008).

Suggested Citation

Suitts, Steve. The Promise of Georgia Pre-K: Building Life Long Education, Current Budget Savings and Long-term Economic Growth in Hard Times. Southern Education Foundation. (2011).

2011 - The report details the significant short-and long-term economic benefits Georgia's pre-Kindergarten program has had on its economy and state budget.  The benefits to private citizens and to local, state, and federal governments would produce within four decades a return of $5.12 for every $1 of lottery funds spent on Georgia pre-K as a high-quality program available to all four-year-olds in the state.


Key findings of the report:

  • Grade retention has declined significantly over the last ten years as the number of Georgia pre-K students have moved through the K-12 grades.  Without Georgia pre-K, an average of 10,000 students each year would have been added to school rolls to repeat a grade.  In turn, the state realized cost savings of $35.6 million by cutting grade retention in K-12 schools.
  • Over the next six years (2011-2016), Georgia's public education budgets will realize savings of more than $212.9 in tax revenues and expenditures because students have been in Georgia pre-K and not repeated the same grade as often as other students.
  • In result of decreasing student dropout rates, Georgia pre-K will reduce state tax expenditures for education by close to a quarter of a billion dollars during the next six years.
  • The impact of early education in lowering special education placement is well documented.  From 2007 through 2010, the number of students placed in special education in Georgia declined by almost 20,000.  
  • Despite its unique advantages and benefits, Georgia pre-K has been required to do too much with too little for too long.  The program has been under-funded for years and not available to all four-year-olds whose parents want it as promised.

Download the report.

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