It looks like your sales tax investment is paying off.

News Radio 1200 WOAI reports students in San Antonio's groundbreaking Pre-K for SA program exceed the national norm in kindergarten readiness for the fourth straight year.

Pre-K CEO Sarah Baray says this is yet another validation of the importance of reaching as many students as possible with high quality early childhood education.

"When children have access to high quality full day Pre-K that puts them on a track to educational excellence throughout their entire school career, and that is what we are focused on," she said.

Students, many of whom were lagging the national norm when they began the Pre-K program, tested higher than average in cognitive, literacy, and mathematics.

"Our children came into pre-kindergarten significantly below the normed sample in five out of six outcomes," Baray said.  "By the end of the school year, our students closed the gaps and were more than prepared for kindergarten and beyond."

Baray says all of the research shows that investment in early childhood education pays benefits throughout a lifetime, and is frequently the key to the type of high paying, rewarding career which will help improve the city's tax base for decades to come.

"Forty years later, we still see benefits for children who have access to early childhood education, and that's what we're trying to do here in San Antonio."

She says now that all four of the Pre-K centers which were planned under the program, which began in 2013, are full with some 2,000 students, the program will now focus on extending quality Pre-K education with programs at schools and other locations.