Preschools, Parents Forced to Adjust Amid Cuts

Publication: Detroit Free Press

Author: Lori Higgins


10/28/2009 - The state's fiscal crisis is striking some of its most vulnerable residents–four-year-olds whose private, nonprofit preschool programs are losing state funding.

A 50 percent cut in grants, part of the school aid budget that became official last week, means more than 20 programs won't get their funding renewed and 2,000 slots will be lost. Also, just as many new programs won't get funded at all.

And things could get worse for preschools, tasked with preparing students for kindergarten. While funding was left intact for school districts to run their programs, the Legislature approved a provision that gives school administrators the flexibility to use their preschool funds to absorb overall cuts of nearly $300 per pupil.

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Nationwide, 29 states have either increased preschool funding or held it steady in the last school year, according to a report last week from Pre-K Now, a Washington-based advocacy group. Michigan is one of just a few states decreasing the funding.

To read the full article, "Preschools, Parents Forced to Adjust Amid Cuts," visit Freep.com



 

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