BTC BRIEF: Privatizing Pre-K - A move the would disproportionately impact rural, high-poverty counties

By Louisa Warren
Policy Advocate, NC Budget & Tax Center
March 2012

KEY FINDINGS:

  • Public schools play a major role in North Carolina’s Pre‐K program. In 17 counties, 100 percent of the Pre‐K slots are in public schools.
  • All 17 of these counties are rural, and a majority of them are high‐poverty.
  • More than half (58) of the state’s counties rely on public schools to host and manage more than half of their Pre‐K slots. Only 6 out of these 58 counties are not rural.
  • Rural, high‐poverty counties do not have robust networks of private child‐care centers, and therefore privatizing Pre‐K would limit access to the program in these areas.
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