NC Pre-K limits get attention days before appeal

EMERY P. DALESIO
Associated Press

RALEIGH, NC (AP) -- State lawmakers are backing away from language that prompted a lawsuit over whether every needy child must be given pre-kindergarten education.

The move comes days before a North Carolina appeals court takes up the lawsuit. Senate leader Phil Berger says lawmakers are reversing last year's changes to the North Carolina Pre-K program. A judge ruled they violated the state's duty to give every child a chance at a sound, basic education.

The Legislature last year limited the number of spots for at-risk youngsters and required parents to pay up to 10 percent of their income for their children to participate.

Senators now want to remove those requirements. A lawsuit brought on by that language will be argued before the state Court of Appeals next week.

(Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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NCPK needs to be looked at a bit harder. As a parent of a child who just finished the NCPK school program I can say that I for one am not a happy parent. I had no help from the teachers, school director or the program administrator in my county when I had questions about the program. I asked repeatedly for reports and updates on my child's progression and the most I ever received were, "Oh, she's doing fine", "She has such a great imagination" and "You have nothing to worry about she will be ready for kindergarten". The state funds this program, however, once the check is issued there is no follow-up from the state to make sure that the children are getting an age appropriate education from educators that are qualified. The office in Raleigh that over sees this program does not respond to parents who question anything about their child's school or program, so like everything else, problems start at the top and roll downhill, the only ones getting hurt are the children.

There is nothing wrong with paying for your child to attend NC Pre K. If you had to send your child to daycare U would have to pay 100%. Paying a fourth or third of your child's schooling while they are under the school age of 5 is not a hardship. If you are now working and sending your child to daycare then you know all aobut paying childcare. Helping your child to get ready for "K" is not a hardship.