Pre-K funding focus of today’s special School Board meeting

The Calcasieu Parish School Board will discuss pre-K enrollment options during a special called meeting at 5 p.m. today, May 31, in the boardroom at the Central Office, 3310 Broad St.

“Pre-K programs in Calcasieu Parish originated to provide opportunities for at-risk children,” said Superintendent Karl Bruchhaus. “And those children continue to be the foundation of the program.”

Pre-K isn’t mandated and so isn’t funded like grades K-12 are. Bruchhaus said the pre-K program “has always included an application process, including the reporting and verification of income.”

But the effort to prioritize funding has seemed “abrupt” to some involved in the process, Bruchhaus said, leaving a number of board members asking for options to create a “bridge” year where the board would continue to fund some ineligible students.

Bruchhaus said several options will be discussed at the meeting:

Filling all grant-funded positions with eligible students through an ongoing enrollment process.

Offering up to 390 positions to students not eligible for grant positions as registered in the March registration cycle. Students would be ranked in income order based on completed and verified applications and would be offered spots closest to their zoned school from lowest income to highest.

The 2017-’18 school year could be a bridge year, with the program returning to 100 percent grant funding for the 2018-’19 school year.

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(Source: MGN Online)

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