CMS Bright Beginnings could be in trouble | Schools
CHARLOTTE, NC (WBTV) - There was a passionate debate surrounding Charlotte - Mecklenburg School (CMS) district's Pre-kindergarten program. It took center stage at Tuesday night's school board meeting.
The program educates disadvantaged 4 year olds to prepare them for kindergarten. It costs about $21 million to run the program. Federal stimulus money will help keep the program afloat for the 2010-2011 school year, but the trouble starts at the start of 2011-2012 school year. That's when $9 million of the federal stimulus money currently assisting Pre-K centers goes away.
"Should we continue to do that," CMS Superintendent Peter Gorman said. "Or should someone else offer that. They [CMS school board members] are really split on that."
Susie Johnson is principal at the Amay James Pre-K Center. She wants CMS to find the money to keep Pre-K centers open. She believes they work.
"They see so much growth in their children," Johnson said. "Especially their language skills. Their vocabulary has increased."
As the debate continues board members are reminding Gorman the core business of CMS.
"The main charge from the government is that we'll [CMS] do K-12." Gorman said.
Board members now have to figure out what to do when the money for Pre-K is cut.
"I think it's money well spent." Johnson said. "We provide so much more than people can see."
Currently there are more than 3,000 students who go to Pre-K Centers. They have been around CMS for about 12 years.
Board members have many more conversations before deciding what to do with Pre-K Centers.