West Virginia Board of Education Plays Key Role Implementing Pre-K Programs

September 22, 2003

CHARLESTON W.Va. – The West Virginia Board of Education put their stamp of approval on a position paper regarding the value of pre-kindergarten education in the state. The Board wants children to come to kindergarten with the skills necessary to be successful in school.  

The Board of Education and the Department of Education adopted seven Refined Goals for Education in 2000. Goal One is “Readying Children to Learn.” In 2002 the West Virginia Legislature mandated that by school year 2012- 13 every four year old in West Virginia and three year old children with identified special needs have the opportunity to attend a pre-kindergarten program. As a result of Goal One, the Board and Department were already poised to take a leadership role in the development of the West Virginia Pre-kindergarten system.  

“This is not money misspent, but money well spent,” said State Schools Superintendent David Stewart. “The benefits of pre-k learning are invaluable and we cannot wait any longer to implement these programs.”  

Studies have found that students enrolled in Pre-K programs had:  

  • Higher IQ scores and readiness upon entering school
  • Higher scores throughout the subsequent school years
  • Higher graduation rates
  • Higher monthly earnings as an adult
  • Fewer placements in special education or grade retention
  • Higher scores on achievement tests
  • Better school attendance
  • Less involvement in the juvenile and adult justice systems  

    Studies also indicate that for every dollar invested in early childhood programs, society received four to seven dollars in benefits.  

    The Learning Framework is a guide for early education programs to ensure that all early education programs meet the tenets of quality as established by the National Standards for Early Childhood Education.  

    For more information on West Virginia’s Pre-kindergarten system, contact Dr. Cathy Jones, Early Childhood Coordinator at (304) 558-2691.

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