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Wall Street Sees Preschool as an Investment Opportunity When Local Governments Don’t

On a recent winter afternoon, the scene inside Dobrila Hasic-Botic’s preschool classroom in Granite, Utah, seemed typical of a high-quality pre-K. A 4-year-old in a poufy pink skirt recited the first letter of her name. A boy in jeans and a golf shirt drew shapes on a small whiteboard in his lap. And a 3-year-old with an infectious smile did a somersault on the rug.

But preschool in this struggling Utah district is far from ordinary. Granite is the first district in the nation to be financed by private investors who pay upfront for preschool seats, and make a profit if enough of the district’s “at-risk” kids succeed.