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Associated Press

RALEIGH, NC (AP) — Gov. Bev Perdue is stepping into a battle over North Carolina’s efforts to prepare all 4-year-olds for school.

Perdue on Wednesday ordered the Department of Health and Human Services to offer pre-kindergarten education to all eligible 4-year-olds without saying how the state would pay for a potential flood of thousands of children.

The state’s More At Four pre-kindergarten program last year served about 32,000 4-year-olds. An agency survey found there may be nearly twice that number of eligible children.

A Superior Court judge ruled last month that the state is required to serve any 4-year-old deemed at risk of falling behind their peers.

Legislative Republicans wanted to cut spending on the revamped program by 20 percent and charge parents a co-payment of up to 10 percent of their income.

(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

Comment on this Story

  • Megaton 1011

    An ounce of of prevention (in this case preparation) is worth a pound of cure!

  • Guest350

    Taxpayers should not have to pay a cent toward what is nothing more than a babysitting service. How can a 4 year old already be falling behind? Talk about waste!!!!!!

  • Guest6979

    There is a lot more to the preK program then just babysitting. Most the students that participate in the program never have any type of daycare. This program allows students to learn how to do school. Not only do they learn some of the basics reading, math and how to write they also learn the social aspects of school. My child is not going to qualify for the program next year and I worry about her first month of Kindergarden. I am thankful that my child picks up and things quickly and my wife and I take the time to work with her.

  • Guest

    You obviously dont have children. Please dont comment on things you are ignorant about. It’s not a waste. There are way more programs in this state that are a “waste” . This however is not one of them!

  • Guest

    Better we give high risk kids a “leg up” BEFORE they fall seriously behind. It may be their only REAL chance to reach their potential and become productive members of the community.

    There is no cheap and easy way around the problem. Society will pay one way or another … either now for prevention via early education or later when we try to deal the consequences of high risk kids having trouble finding their way to a constructive life.

  • Guest1011

    Check out http://developingchild.harvard.edu to learn more about the value of early childhood education. Speaks for itself. Other research by MIT shows for every $1 invested in early childhood education, our country receives $13 return on investment throughout a child’s lifetime.

  • Guest350

    You’re correct, I don’t have children, but my tax dollars will probably provide low cost or no cost babysitting for those who wish to be free of the kids that they bore on a daily basis and let somebody else foot the bill. I don’t feel that objecting to pre K shows ignorance. This amounts to nothing more than welfare. How could a 4 year old already be behind in anything? Anytime my tax dollars go for something I don’t think they should, I have a right to express an opinion and will do so.

  • SurfCityTom

    put up.

    How about naming a couple of those programs that are a waste?

    This program fails if the Parents are not required to participate in their child’s education process. That’s both parents; not just the Grandmother who is often saddled with the responsibility.

    And on a serious note, where does the funding come from? It’s got to come from some checkbook? So which programs get cut?

    So put up.

    And before you ask the irrelevant questions. I have a daughter; she attended private kindergarden and some private school — that meant I paid. She graduated from Chapel Hill without student aid — that meant I paid. She got her Master’s Degree while working; she paid and she relied on the GBD program — Grants by Dad.

    My grandson starts private kindergarden in 2 weeks; that means my daughter and son in law write a check.

    It can be done without public assistance if one is willing to sacrifice.

    Or continue state and federal borrowing and send your grandchildren’s future down the commode.

  • Guest

    Your comment shows just how ignorant you are about the Pre-K/More at Four program. My son was in the More at 4 program this year and it was more than “babysitting”. My son learned so much in this program this year that will far benefit him than children that dont have any type of resource. He can read and write and he is just starting Kindegarten this fall. I also PAID for my son to have afterschool care, as long as the State regulates and keeps track of a curriculum of the program what is the big issue? Why dont you worry about what us “taxpayers” are paying for on things other then out CHILDREN, and if you dont have children then you should not be commenting on this issue. A 4 year old is not necessarially “behind” in anything they are just preparing them for Kindegarten. You are so sad.

  • Commonsensenotcommontoday

    Did you here the definition of “at-risk?”

    * Four year-olds living below the poverty level


    Then, they threw in one that is an attempt to camouflage the “kiss the hineys of the poor so they’ll vote for us” truth behind this entire program.

    *Children of military families

    BTW, there are several other studies that disagree totally regarding the value of Head Start and similar programs. One described it as nothing more than a program “to employ inner city women without college degrees.”

    Babysit your own kids until it’s time to send them to Kindergarten. We went to the moon led by engineers who never once attended More at Four.

  • Guest350

    In a child’s first 6 years, parents can teach them a lot more at home than a pre-k or kindergarten. The bottom line is, most parents work and have to pay for day care. This program, if provided by taxpayers allows you free childcare. Once they start to school, you will be free of them during the day 9 months out of the year for the next 12 years.


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