State's Pre-K Program Spending Unlikely To Change Soon

A top North Carolina legislative budget-writer says there are no immediate plans to address preschool spending for at-risk 4-year-olds because litigation on the state's program is running through the courts.

Republican Sen. Richard Stevens of Cary made the comments Wednesday after an advocacy group held a news conference urging lawmakers to fulfill Democratic Gov. Beverly Perdue's request to spend $30 million to teach another 6,300 preschoolers starting in January.

Rob Thompson with the Covenant with North Carolina's Children says legislators should act when they return to work later this month.

Perdue said her request was the first step toward fulfilling a judge's ruling that struck down some North Carolina Pre-Kindergarten budget provisions. Perdue says needy children cannot be turned away from the program.

State attorneys are appealing the ruling.

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An advocacy group dedicated to children's issues in North Carolina wants legislative budget-writers to comply with a judge's ruling by setting aside more money now to provide preschool to at-risk 4-year-olds.

The Covenant with North Carolina's Children scheduled a news conference Wednesday morning in front of the Legislative Building just before an appropriations committee is to meet. The group wants to build pressure on the Legislature to assist the North Carolina Pre-Kindergarten program before January.

A Wake County judge struck down provisions in this year's budget involving Pre-K and said needy children can't be turned away. Gov. Beverly Perdue offered a plan last month that would require $30 million to teach another 6,300 preschooolers.

State attorneys representing legislative leaders are appealing the ruling.

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  • by me Location: Bayboro on Nov 17, 2011 at 11:44 AM
    All the parents want is a free baby sitter at the tax payers expense.
  • by ECU students on Nov 17, 2011 at 06:05 AM
    Parents should be more than capable of teaching their kids their ABC's and 123's so why must we spend billions for the school system to do it?
  • by Anonymous Location: Belhaven on Nov 17, 2011 at 05:21 AM
    Amen !!!
  • by Rethinking Education on Nov 17, 2011 at 04:48 AM
    I really wish NC would put some thought into the way they educate our young. 3 and 4 year olds belong in PRE-SCHOOL, at the parents expense not the taxpayers. PRE-K should be for the 5 year olds who are not ready for kindergarten. Holding those kids back one year could make a huge difference in their readiness to learn and socialize with peers.
    • reply
      by cj on Nov 17, 2011 at 05:51 AM in reply to Rethinking Education
      great comment!
  • by Duplin County Location: Duplin County on Nov 16, 2011 at 10:34 AM
    Please tell me why we are paying for a pre-k program in the first place. If money is going to be taken away from the school system this should be the first thing to go. We did not have a pre-k program when I was a child and guess what---I turned out just fine. I can read and write. It is crazy that this state is placing money into a program that is not 100 percent necessary.
    • reply
      by uh on Nov 16, 2011 at 08:21 PM in reply to Duplin County
      Well at 5,000 per child, that is a small investment compared to the fact that socioeconomically at-risk children have a high instance of growing into criminals and using up 40k per year sitting in our prisons. Better education has a high association with not being involved in crime. In this case, it's much less expensive- I say we educate the children!
      • reply
        by Alpha on Nov 17, 2011 at 05:08 AM in reply to uh
        The "educational advantage" disappears by 3rd grade in 90% of those attending these programs. In other words, we will spend $1 billion dollars plus in three years on a program that has been proven to be a total wash. Invest it at the Middle School level and you will reduce dropouts and have them ready to complete high school.
        • reply
          by uh on Nov 17, 2011 at 11:31 AM in reply to Alpha
          Well not a total wash, but I agree with you- the problem is, they are learning basic skills in pre-k that will allow them to be able to read with the other children by the time they hit middle school. But you are right, a lot of the academic achievement goes down at 3rd grade.
  • by ? on Nov 16, 2011 at 06:23 AM
    'At-risk' 4-year-olds? I didn't realize 4-year-olds were doing drugs and joining gangs. I could have sworn 60% of the education lottery is going to these programs; at least that's what Bev told us. But hey, let’s keep throwing money at it, even though it hasn’t fix itself yet, it might tomorrow or next week or next year or next millennium.
  • by John on Nov 16, 2011 at 03:20 AM
    Hasn't anyone noticed over the last 50 years, throwing money at a problem does not fix it. Our education system has much larger problems than budget issues.
    • reply
      by Boats on Nov 16, 2011 at 05:25 AM in reply to John
      Yeah, and it starts with parents (or parent as the case may be) that don't give a hoot and depend on the school system for babysitting service.
    • reply
      by Russ on Nov 16, 2011 at 05:34 AM in reply to John
      Take the kids away from the producers of them. Birth control required for all taking money from the taxpayers.

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