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The Pre-K Boom in D.C.: Can It Help End School Segregation?

Washington has one of the nation’s highest-quality preschool programs, experts say. It’s also one of the most segregated. In the 2013-14 school year, 86 percent of the city’s black pre-K students attended what experts call “racially isolated” schools where fewer than 10 percent of students are white. But a new generation of parents, including young middle- and upper-class families descending on the city, could herald an end to the city’s entrenched segregation. For the 2016-17 school year, the waiting list for D.C. pre-K classes skyrocketed into the thousands. More than 4,000 preschoolers were on waiting lists in traditional and public charter schools.