Pre-K

Wake County schools currently serve more than 2,000 preschool children.
Sarah Gilbert via Flickr

Wake County school officials say they hope to expand pre-kindergarten services by adding more than 200 slots for next school year. 

Superintendent Jim Merrill is asking the Board of Commissioners for $39 million in local funding, with about $1.5 million directed toward hiring more teachers, assistant teachers and special education experts. 

Researchers find that bilingual children under the age of five make significant gains in language skills while enrolled in early education programs.
Nazareth College via Flickr

A review by UNC-Chapel Hill researchers confirms that children who speak two languages make greater gains in early education programs than their peers who speak only English.

Scientists at UNC's Frank Porter Graham Child Development Institute reviewed 25 studies and found that children with low English-language abilities greatly benefit from early childhood programs like Head Start and state-funded Pre-K.

Gavel
SalFalko via Flickr, Creative Commons

The State Supreme Court is considering whether North Carolina is required to provide free pre-kindergarten education to all of its students.

Currently, funding does not provide for universal access, but a lower court decision in 2011 held the state could not limit access to the program. Host Frank Stasio talks with Jessica Jones, WUNC’s Capitol Bureau Chief, about the case.

Gavel, Court
SalFalko via Flickr, Creative Commons

North Carolina's Supreme Court justices heard arguments Tuesday morning over whether the state's pre-kindergarten program must be expanded to reach more children.

The justices listened to attorneys in the case over the North Carolina Pre-Kindergarten Program, or N-C Pre-K for short. Legislative cutbacks have whittled down the number of children allowed to take part.

Wake County School Bus
Dave DeWitt

Justices in the State Supreme Court will hear arguments Tuesday about how many children should have access to public pre-kindergarten education. The program NC Pre-K exists in all 100 counties and serves more than 27-thousand children – the majority of whom are at-risk of falling behind in school.  Funding for the program has been cut by the general assembly. A Superior Court ruled the state cannot impose barriers on children eligible for the program. The state appealed and now the issue heads for the Supreme Court.

smart start
Wake Smart Start

Republican leaders in the legislature are getting ready to hash out their own versions of the state budget. And the House, Senate and Governor’s version are quite different when it comes to pre-K.

North Carolina has long been praised for its commitment to high-quality pre-kindergarten programs. But all three of the current budgets make cuts to those programs, to varying degrees.

Governor Bev Perdue plans to shift 20 million dollars into funding for the state's pre-kindergarten academic enrichment program.

The State Legislature has reversed course on how many low-income four-year olds are eligible for pre-kindergarten programs.

Dave DeWitt: As part of its effort to cut costs and streamline pre-k programs in the state, the Legislature last year appeared to cap the number of low-income kids at 20 percent. Proponents of Pre-K programs brought the case before Judge Howard Manning, who ruled that the law was unconstitutional. He ordered the state to admit all eligible at-risk four-year olds.

Perdue Boosts Pre-K

Feb 22, 2012
Governor Bev Perdue
NC Governor's Office

Two thousand more at-risk kids will be able to attend pre-kindergarten classes, starting in March. Governor Bev Perdue made the announcement today at a pre-school in Raleigh. Dave DeWitt reports.

Dave DeWitt: The state funds about one-third of the at-risk kids who qualify for pre-kindergarten. Last year, Superior Court Judge Howard Manning said that was illegal, and directed the legislature to fund all eligible children.

Perdue Pushes Pre-K

Aug 11, 2011

The state legislature may be out of session until September, but that hasn’t stopped Governor Bev Perdue from firing the latest shot in the fight over pre-k programs.

On Wednesday, Perdue issued an executive order that directs the Department of Health and Human Services to offer pre-K education to all eligible 4-year olds in the state.

She says that will put North Carolina in compliance with a ruling last month by superior court judge Howard Manning. Last year, about 32,000 4-year olds were enrolled in More At Four. About double that many qualified.

Pages