Publication Date: April 2009
Overview: This report examines rates of participation in West Virginia’s universal, voluntary prekindergarten program (available to all 4-year-olds) from 2002/03 to 2006/07 (the 10-year program’s first 5 years). It describes the share of seats provided by collaborative partners and public school systems and analyzes participation rates by demographic and socioeconomic subgroup and county characteristics. The study finds that statewide participation in the preK program rises from 26 percent to 43 percent over the study period. The number of seats provided by collaborative partners increase from zero to almost a third. Participation rates vary by subgroup; but only county, not student, characteristics are associated with those variations. To reach the program’s goal of 80 percent statewide enrollment by 2012/13, the participation rate would have to increase by an average of 6 percentage points each year from 2006/07 through 2012/13.
Read the full report here
Update: In April 2012, REL Appalachia published a technical brief updating this report through 2010/11. That study finds that the statewide participation rate of eligible students in prekindergarten more than doubled between 2002/03 and 2010/11, from 26 percent to 63 percent of eligible students. To meet the programs objectives of enrolling 80 percent of students in a prekindergarten program by the 2012/13 school year, schools needed to grow enrollment at an average rate of six percentage points per year between 2006/07 and 2012/13. REL Appalachia researchers found that the average annual growth between the 2006/07 and 2010/11 school years was five percentage points per year.
Read the full technical brief here