BOISE - A few years ago the city of Boise wanted to find out how valuable Pre-K was to its communities.
Now, a Boise State University study of a local neighborhood shows sending kids to Pre-K is a valuable option for early childhood education.
In November 2015, the City of Boise helped launch a Pre-K program in Boise's Vista neighborhood. The idea was to study how the new program impacted young students.
A team from BSU was tasked at studying data from standardized testing and drawing a conclusion on what all the data meant.
Tuesday, education and city leaders came together at the Whitney Community Center to learn about how students have done in the program.
The biggest data take away from Boise State's study of the program shows that in fall 2016, 86 percent of the first group of Vista Pre-K students achieved at or above benchmark scores.
Those students that weren't in the program only achieved at a 53 percent rate.
That data is why education and city leaders say programs like Vista Pre-K need to start growing in other areas of the city.
"With the students that attended the Pre-K program what we saw is that they had such a higher level of achievement than if they hadn't attended it, and what may happen in the long run is that those kids might need special education, so what this is going to do is hopefully cut down on long-term costs," said Vanessa Fry, co-author of the BSU report.
Boise Mayor Dave Bieter says he is very impressed with the data from the report.
"Nothing shows success better than to see these young people and know they have a leg up on where they would have been and a better chance of success," said Bieter.
Bieter also added that Boise is currently looking at expanding the Pre-K program to four other areas across the city in the near future.
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