Study ranks Missouri at the bottom for its early education system; Arkansas at the top

Pre-K enrollment dropped by nearly 300,000 students in 2021 according to WalletHub.
Pre-K enrollment dropped by nearly 300,000 students in 2021 according to WalletHub.(Elizabeth VanMetre)
Published: Aug. 3, 2022 at 5:00 PM CDT
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SPRINGFIELD, Mo. (KY3) - According to WalletHub, Missouri ranked third worst in early education systems in America. Arkansas ranked No. 1.

In Missouri, pre-K enrollment dropped by nearly 300,000 students in 2021, according to WalletHub. The personal finance website says this drop hurt educational progress, prompting them to look into the numbers.

Bradley Hunt, a father and preschool teacher, says he didn’t expect the results to be so low.

“I feel like we do an amazing job making sure they are ready,” Hunt said. “So yeah, that number is kind of surprising.”

That number made up four key metrics:

-State pre-k programs

-Waiting list times

-School Safety plans

-Monthly costs.

Dana Carroll from the Community Partnership of the Ozarks says do not let the numbers be discouraging because, while low, we’ve improved.

“We’ve actually done a little bit better over the past couple of years,” Carroll says. “We’ve been way behind. We’ve been at the bottom for so many years that it’s going to take a long time for us to climb out of that hole.”

Carroll says the rankings for Greene County would be higher.

“In Greene County, we’re probably doing a little bit better than 49th or 50th,” Carroll says. “We still have a long way to go, but in some areas, we are a little better than other parts of the state.”

For a look at the entire survey, click here.

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