Arkansas Early Education Gets High Marks

LITTLE ROCK, AR - Arkansas' educational program for 3-and-4-year-olds ranked in the top tier of a nationwide comparison of preschools conducted by Rutgers University researchers.

The state's early childhood education program excelled in terms of access, financial resources and quality, according to the university's National Institute of Early Education Research.  The findings were based on 2006-2007 data.

Arkansas was one of eight states that met nine out of ten standards.  Arkansas fell short of one standard that all its preschool teachers have bachelors degrees in early childhood education or child development.  But state officials have drafted rules that, if approved, will make the degree a requirement for newly hired teachers.

(The Associated Press contributed to this report.)