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Arizona’s early education system gets low marks from website

(Pixabay Photo)

PHOENIX – Arizona performed poorly in yet another education-related national ranking.

The Grand Canyon State checked in at No. 45 in WalletHub’s 2019 ranking of the states with the best early education systems, which was released Tuesday.

The personal finance website compared the 50 states and District of Columbia on 12 metrics broken into three categories: access, quality and resources/economic support.

Arizona’s worst performance was in access, where it ranked 48th.

“Seventy percent of the children in our state don’t actually attend an early childhood program. Of the 30% who do, a lot of them are not high quality programs,” Dr. Isela Garcia, a Phoenix early education consultant, told KTAR News 92.3 FM.

One of the metrics for determining access was the share of 3- and 4-year-olds enrolled in pre-K and Head Start programs. Arizona was 44th nationally in that area.

The state did best in the resources/economic support category, ranking in the middle of the pack at No. 26.

Nebraska was rated as the best place for early childhood education, with Indiana coming in last.

Over the past year, Arizona has been near the cellar in several WalletHub education rankings.

Last month, the website ranked Arizona No. 48 for public education systems. In Sept. 2018, Arizona was ranked as the second-worst state for teachers.

A Census Bureau report released in May found that Arizona’s per-pupil spending in public schools was the fourth-lowest in the nation in 2017.

KTAR News 92.3 FM’s Griselda Zetino contributed to this report.

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