VPK-Early Literacy

The Voluntary Prekindergarten (VPK) Education Program is our state funded program for all four-year-olds. Its purpose is to provide young students with a strong foundation in early literacy skills. The historic and projected participation rates for the VPK program are shown below.

Few investments in educational programs are more valuable than those that help students to read. In fact, research shows that reading on grade level by the end of third grade is critical to a student’s future academic success.

However, VPK students who are not ready to move on to Kindergarten are not able to continue participating in the state-funded program. These students are most likely to need additional services and/or years of instruction.

The solution is to provide parents with valuable information on the progress of their child and allow parents to enroll their child in a second year of VPK, which leads to a significant savings for taxpayers.

Giving Our Youngest Learners a Bright Future

Senate Bill 1192, sponsored by Senator Kelli Stargel and House Bill 951 sponsored by Representative Jason Fischer would:

  • Share the results of required VPK pre- and post-assessment and resources with parents within 10 days to help students.
  • Report VPK pre-and post-assessments results (at the aggregate level) and distribute to each coalition, school district and displayed on the Office of Early Learning’s website within 30 days of administration.
  • Provide parents of students, attending VPK in 2019-2020, with the opportunity to enroll their child in a second year of VPK.
  • Require the Office of Early Learning to determine the eligibility criteria and prepare estimates for implementation in 2019-2020.

There is a cost savings to the state if a student participates in another year of VPK instead of enrolling in kindergarten at a public school. Statewide, the cost savings ranges from $45.9M to $160.7M.

Historic and Projected VPK Participation Rates

Source: Voluntary Prekindergarten Education Program Estimating Conference, August 2, 2017. 2005-2006 – 2016-2017 are actual enrollments. 2017-2018 to 2020—2021 are projected enrollments.