Universal Preschool

Policy Change, Stability, and the Pew Charitable Trusts

By Brenda K. Bushouse

Subjects: Public Policy, Political Science, Education, State And Local Politics
Series: SUNY series in Public Policy
Paperback : 9780791493885, 224 pages, January 2010
Hardcover : 9780791493878, 224 pages, March 2009

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Table of contents

1. Introduction
2. Policy Change in the Pioneer States
3. The Challenge of Establishing a Policy Monopoly
4. The Pew Charitable Trusts and Universal Preschool
5. Pew Investment in States

Examines recent trends in state-funded preschool education.


Winner of the 2011 Virginia A. Hodgkinson Book Prize presented by the Association for Research on Nonprofit Organizations and Voluntary Action (ARNOVA)

The spectacular recent success of state-funded preschool education is revealed and explained in this absorbing study. A quiet revolution has been underway in American education policy since 1995, with forty-one states and the District of Columbia creating some form of state-funded preschool learning. Brenda K. Bushouse tells why it became politically advantageous for state legislators to support universal access to preschool programs and how political and budgetary stability was achieved to spur this initiative. In 2001, the Pew Charitable Trusts announced an ambitious new giving program aimed at creating universal preschool for all three- and four-year-olds. Bushouse reveals Pew's unorthodox giving program and complex strategy for advancing universal preschool policy change.

Brenda K. Bushouse is Associate Professor of Political Science and Public Policy at the University of Massachusetts Amherst.


"Bushouse's work is required reading for anyone interested in educational change in the United States, and more widely. Her work is a critical case study of one insurgency for change, revealing how difficult it is to secure change in liberal capitalist democratic societies." — H-Net Reviews (H-Education)

"A well-researched study of preschool education with important implications for understanding policy change at the state level and the role of foundations in the policy process." — CHOICE

"Bushouse's analysis … provide[s] insights for understanding policy change, the challenge to achieve stability for new programs, and the role of foundations in the policy process." — Journal of Family & Consumer Science