Excerpted from abstract
Over the past few decades, we have witnessed a surge in publicly funded pre-K programs in the United States. Today, policy makers in 45 states and the District of Columbia have adopted them. Combining information from twelve datasets, we use event history analysis (EHA) to examine the influence of a set of predictors on states’ decisions to adopt public pre-K. Findings indicate that party dominance in the legislature, legislative professionalism, and unemployment rates are associated with pre-K adoption; regional proximity to previously adopting states is also significant. The authors discuss implications for policy makers and advocates considering future legislative action in the early childhood education sector, including the expansion of pre-K eligibility requirements.