city pagesNews

City Pages

Just as parents of pre-kindergarten students began scrambling to find care for their kids between the last day of school and the start of camp season, the plans changed again.

A few weeks ago, Flagpole reported that the end of the pre-K year for most students in the Clarke County School District, thanks to funding cuts from the Georgia Lottery, would be Apr. 27. But according to an email sent to teachers Apr. 6, the district’s plans have apparently changed again. The district is now offering parents a “fee-based summer program” to round out the last few weeks of school, ending pre-K classes on May 11.

The “Pre-K Extension Program” is based on a sliding fee schedule based on a child’s eligibility for free or reduced-price lunch. Students who receive a free lunch pay $25 a week for the weeks of Apr. 30 and May 7, while students who receive reduced-price lunch pay $50 and students who do not qualify for the lunch program pay $85 per week. Transportation to and from school will continue.

“The district’s in a major financial crisis, so to speak; we’re in deficit spending,” said Shelley Goodman, director of CCSD’s Office of Early Learning, which oversees the Lottery-funded Pre-K program. “But the board of education said we needed to find the money. They felt we could find the money. This is, I think, a fair and equitable way of providing that service.”