Many students attend a pre-kindergarten (pre-K) program outside of their neighborhood school, but there is no evidence that making this choice is associated with subsequent student readiness for kindergarten. In the Houston Independent School District (HISD), pre-K is not zoned, which means families can request to enroll their children on any campus with a pre-K program or Early Childhood Center (ECC) that has space available. As a result, many families may opt for programs that are outside of their neighborhoods, and it has been unclear whether students attending non-neighborhood campuses are more likely to be ready for kindergarten at the end of pre-K.
School choice in pre-K was not associated with school readiness unless students attended a higher-performing pre-K program. Findings from this study suggest that children who exercised school choice and attended a higher-performing pre-K program were more likely to be kindergarten-ready than those who exercised school choice and attended a lower-performing pre-K program.
This brief serves as the fourth, and final, study in a series examining pre-K access for students in HISD.