Researchers have found that efforts to make prekindergarten programs free and universal could have different outcomes on students depending on the economic background of the family. In a paper delivered to the recent 2013 Brookings Panel on Economic Activity, researchers who studied model programs in Oklahoma and Georgia found that access to free preschool by students from low-income backgrounds resulted in higher participation rates in preschool, more quality time with mothers, such as time spent reading, and midterm academic gains. For students from higher-income families who opted for the free programs, there were "no positive impacts on student achievement."
Is universal pre-K the best option?
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