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Watauga BOE Cuts Pre-K Nearly in Half PDF Print
Written by Gary Childers   
Tuesday, 10 July 2012 06:00

The Watauga County Board of Education approved reducing the Pre-K program from 8 to 4 sites and from 9 to 5 classes during Monday night’s meeting. Dr. Scarlet Davis, associate superintendent, presented information to the Board showing the pre-K program was $204,554in the red last year and, due to funding cuts, is projected to be $300,603 in the red for the coming year if it isn’t cut back. To keep from having to take money from the K-8 program to support the pre-k program, “It saddens me very much tonight that I actually have to make this recommendation to the board funding five classes at four of our sites where we see the highest need.” Those sites are Cove Creek, Hardin Park, Parkway, and Green Valley. Dr. Davis and superintendent Kafitz, with regrets, recommended the Board vote to approve reducing the program for 2012-2013 school year. Dr. Davis explained that the sites were selected due to their proximity to the highest number of children with the greatest needs. Dr. Kafitz added that all applicants from the county will be ranked according to need and the highest needs children will be given first option to attend the site closest to their home. In was, in Board member John Welch’s words, one of the hardest votes he’s ever had to cast, “It’s a shame we have lawmakers who are willing to cut a program like Pre-K after understanding the benefits.”



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