Georgia's Pre-K program in danger?
Due to declining lottery revenue, Georgia Governor Nathan Deal is proposing cutting the Pre-K program in half.
The change would take the program from full time to part time--reducing the program from 6.5 hours to just four.
Dougherty County Schools Pre-K Director, Gloria Kendall says they are in the brainstorming stage still to try to figure out how to come up with a new program in time. Kendall urges parents to write the governor's office about the situation.
Lee County Pre-K Director, Jan Duke says they will be providing an extended day program for parents who will not be able to pick up their children at 12:30--when their child would be getting out. Parents would have to pay a small fee each week for the program since it won't be funded by the state. Duke says the fee may be around $30 per week.
Teachers are also in fear of their jobs. Their time will be cut as well--putting their benefits in danger.
Georgia's Pre-K program has shown to be effective, reducing the number of dropouts in middle and high school from 3.5% to 2.6%. It also reduces the number of students in the Special Education classes by 20,000, thus saving taxpayer's money.
There may be a solution, though. Georgia democrats have presented a plan that would give full scholarships for families that make up to $140,000. It would pay for a full-time pre-k program by increasing the amount the Georgia lottery sends to the HOPE scholarship fund, and reduce the amount lottery retailers get for selling the winning ticket.
Deal's bill has passed the House and will move on to the state Senate for a vote.