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|Knoxville School Board Gets Feedback on Preschool Proposal
|UPDATED 1:07 p-m 4/13/10 The District 202 School Board is trying to figure out if the school district can afford to keep its pre-school program or if it'll fall victim to the budget axe.
The board held a special meeting Monday night to get a better grasp on what and how much will be cut when action is taken at next Wednesday night's (April 21) meeting to make up for an anticipated state funding shortfall of around $650,000 next fiscal year. Superintendent Dr. Larry Carlton says the state still owes the district $165,000 this year and there's no guarantee any more money is coming in.
The issue that garnered much of the discussion by the board and the public at the meeting was the pre-school program.
Staff members were among those in the audience and they said the pre-school serves 40 children and argued it would be detrimental to take the program away from them. The cost of the program is about $60,000. Ideas discussed included taking out transportation, which would save around $12,000, or selling the building the pre-school is in and moving it to Mable Woolsey Elementary School.
Mable Woolsey kindergarten teacher Pam Brown says it's clear to her that students benefit from pre-school.
"Every year it seems like I'm getting three to four kids for kindergarten class that have had no pre-school and they really stand out," Brown said. "A lot of times at the end of the year those children will have to be retained. They need that extra year of kindergarten."
Brown says a lack of pre-school could result more and more kids retained for kindergarten or having to reduce the curriculum, neither of which is wanted.
Mable Woolsey principal Larry Eastin says not having the pre-school could actually wind up costing the district more money over the next couple of years because it's likely more students would be retained and at least another staff member would have to be hired to handle a larger kindergarten class.
The board also went over a list of proposed cuts totaling more than $800,000 and a number of potential fee increases. The Knoxville School Board previously cut 11 aide positions and could decide not to replace five teachers retiring at the end of this school year.
|04 13 10 by Newsroom
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