Positive Effects of High-Quality Pre-K: Hurst-Euless-Bedford ISD Study


Nobel laureate economist James Heckman consistently touts the persistent positive effects of high-quality birth-to-five early childhood education, but the long-term benefits of pre-kindergarten are often contested.

Few recent studies have evaluated pre-k’s long-term impact on academic achievement and its developmental “sticking power” as children progress into elementary school and beyond.

A local school district superintendent, together with the district’s pre-k coordinator and quality officer, answered the need for quantitative data supporting pre-k’s lasting effects.

The recently released Hurst-Euless-Bedford ISD pre-k study validates the persistent, positive impact of a quality pre-k program.

Key findings of the quality pre-k study included:

  • Long-Term Positive Effects: Children who participated in high-quality pre-kindergarten could attainpositive academic results through grade 6.
  • Lower Levels of Grade Retention: 99 non-pre-Kindergarten attendee students repeated a grade level compared to only 1 pre-kindergarten attendee student who repeated a grade level.
  • Reduced Need for Special Education. 4.9% of non-pre-kindergarten attendee students compared to only 1% of pre-kindergarten attendee students were identified for Special Education.
  • Results Impact Cost. The cost for re-educating a retained student is $1,394 per student. The cost of educating Special Education non-pre-k students is $3,394 per student, almost 2.5 times the cost of general education.

To read the full report, click here.

Source Info: Hurst-Euless-Bedford ISD Pre-Kindergarten Study, HEB ISD, School Years 2014-15 and 2015-16; Steven Chapman (Superintendent), Dr. Shea Stanfield-McGarrah (Pre-Kindergarten Coordinator), Tanya Hassell (Quality Officer).

Sarah Hudson