The Untapped Potential of Baltimore City Public Preschools

June 2000 / Abell Reports / Education

A strong preschool experience linked to an equally strong elementary school experience is a key to overcoming the major social challenge facing Baltimore City.

This study examines the two large-scale public preschool programs in Baltimore City, one operated by Head Start and the other by the Baltimore City public schools. Together these two programs spend approximately $32 million annually to provide preschool to most of the city’s four-year-olds and some three-year-olds. In spite of this expenditure, most of Baltimore City’s poor children continue to arrive at kindergarten unable to demonstrate measurable benefits from the preschool experience. Over the last 20 years, city, state, and federal officials have allocated hundreds of millions of public dollars to Baltimore City’s public preschools,
without determining if this investment is improving academic outcomes.