Education More News |

Georgia pre-K expecting 180 days of education again

Friday, July 26, 2013 8:54 AM
Last updated 7:54 PM
  • Follow Education

ATLANTA -As yellow school buses fill this month with 4 year olds to deliver them to pre-kindergarten, they’ll be making the trip for 180 days of education again, an increase from recent years when budget cuts shrank the term.

Pre-K, which is funded by Georgia Lottery ticket sales, was only 160 days in 2011 and 170 in 2012.

Gov. Nathan Deal asked for legislative approval to add 10 days back each year in order to return to the original 180 days by 2013.

In 2011, he decided to cut the school days in order to preserve pre-K and the HOPE Scholarship because the state was experiencing large amounts of spending in the programs.

“If spending continued at the pace that it was going, then it would have stripped revenue from the lottery. The governor decided we needed to cut back on pre-K and cut $54 million from a $350 million budget,” said Bobby Cagle, commissioner of Georgia’s Department of Early Care and Learning.

Then by 2013, lottery revenue improved, so there have not been any more spending cuts for pre-K and the HOPE Scholarship.

“There are a great deal of benefits from the 180 days for families, pre-K teachers and even kindergarten teachers who say that children are better prepared because of pre-K,” said Cagle.

The first school day will vary based on school system and child care provider. It starts as early as July 22 or as late as Sept.2.

During the 2012 school year, there was a statewide pre-K enrollment of 83,000.

The lottery-funded pre-K program has been recognized as one of the top state programs in the nation, based on quality standards, teacher qualifications and enrollment. The program celebrated its 20th anniversary last year.

“Preparing children for kindergarten is exciting, and we look forward to a full school year,” said Susan Adams, assistant commissioner for Georgia’s pre-K program.

Comments (4) Add comment
ADVISORY: Users are solely responsible for opinions they post here and for following agreed-upon rules of civility. Posts and comments do not reflect the views of this site. Posts and comments are automatically checked for inappropriate language, but readers might find some comments offensive or inaccurate. If you believe a comment violates our rules, click the "Flag as offensive" link below the comment.
itsanotherday1 07/26/13 - 09:46 am
Is there any evidence that

Is there any evidence that children exposed to pre-K and K advance any more or faster in later years than those who start school in the first grade? I read some years back that by third or fourth grade the academic success between the two was not distinguishable. Does anyone know if that is still the case?

If true, pre-k and k are no more than glorified babysitting at taxpayer expense.

chascushman 07/26/13 - 02:56 pm
"If true, pre-k and k are no

"If true, pre-k and k are no more than glorified babysitting at taxpayer expense. "
Just let the gov't raise your kids they are so smart.

corgimom 07/27/13 - 10:45 am
itsanotherday, here's the

itsanotherday, here's the real problem.

There are kids coming into kindergarten that aren't ready. We saw them from day 1. Back in the old days, when people had common sense, a teacher could say "Your child isn't ready" and the mother would say "Ok" and they would start at 6. Now, you can't say that. They take everybody at 5.

They flounder. And then you aren't supposed to retain in kindergarten, so they get pushed on to 1st grade. And they still aren't ready, but you can't hurt a child's- and parent's- feelings by retention.

It's like anything else, the smart kids flourish, the not-so-smart ones don't.

Third grade is where the rubber meets the road. K-2 is all about teaching reading and writing, 3rd grade is when a child is supposed to put it all together, and that's the year of reckoning.

The kids that have never done well, just fall apart. They never got the basic skills that they need.

And the kids that have done well, continue to do well.

If they would retain kids, you would see a marked difference. It's about refusal to retain, not Pre-K and kindergarten that's the problem.

itsanotherday1 07/27/13 - 02:01 pm
So then, by your experience;

So then, by your experience; children could all start school at 6, provided that those who were "slower" at grasping the fundamentals could be retained as needed to keep them at speed with their particular learning capacity?

That is how it was done when I was in grade school. You started when you were 6 and you made it or didn't. Very few failed 1st or 2nd, but as we went on through the 8th a few fell back a grade, some even 2. Those dropped out when they reached 16.

Edit: Also, failing a grade was considered an embarrassment for the whole family. My older brother repeated 1st grade due to illness that kept him home for most of that year. I remember we were all quick to explain why he was 4 years older than me, but only 3 grades ahead. He later made a joke of it, telling people he flunked 1st grade. The joke of it was he was an A student.

corgimom 07/27/13 - 05:47 pm
There are some children who

There are some children who can start school at 5 and do very well.

There are others who need to start at 6, and don't.

And when you were in grade school, you didn't have mentally ill children, emotionally disturbed children, severely autistic children, and mentally impaired children. You just can't imagine the effect that they have on a classroom.

Almost no child starts at 6 today, and schools would be better if they did.

And because our body of knowledge has ballooned, there is more for children to learn than what we did.

In my day- probably not too far away from your day- we had art once in a while, music once in a while, a few library books in the classroom. We had science once in a while, no science experiments, no science lab, no science equipment and the only computers were huge ones at the school district office.

It's far different now.

Back to Top
Search Augusta jobs
Top headlines
AU professor doing research on Gulf War health disparities
An Augusta University professor is being funded to do research on the health disparities of female veterans involved in the first Gulf War compared to their male counterparts.