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Drawing for pre-k slots to be held Friday

Posted: March 24, 2012 - 11:11pm  |  Updated: March 27, 2012 - 8:35am
Sondra Hogan records the information as Michele Sherman, Director of Elementary Education, draws cards in the pre-k lottery at the Board of Election office in 2010.  Jim Blaylock
Jim Blaylock
Sondra Hogan records the information as Michele Sherman, Director of Elementary Education, draws cards in the pre-k lottery at the Board of Election office in 2010.

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As Columbia County public school officials prepare for Friday’s prekindergarten drawing, state budget alterations again might change the school system’s pre-k offerings, but not as drastically as last year.

The state Senate approved Gov. Nathan Deal’s budget proposal last week. Though it still had to win the approval of House lawmakers, the budget included funds to add 10 days to the pre-k school year, but eliminated 2,000 slots.

Last year, Deal added 10,000 slots to the lottery-funded pre-k program, but cut instruction days from 180 to 160.

Facing salary cuts because of losing 20 work days, all of Columbia County’s pre-k teachers sought jobs at higher grade levels last year, said school system Director of Elementary Learning Michele Sherman.

But with the governor adding more money to increase the length of the program, Sherman hopes it helps stabilize it.

“The hope is we can retain more teachers,” she said. “Many of us are really worried about the teacher turnover rate at the end of (last school) year.”

To make up for the exodus of pre-k teachers to other grade levels, officials last year hired many rookie teachers willing to work at less pay.

Now, Sherman said, many of those teachers are eyeing full-time jobs at higher grade levels.

“That’s going to happen every single year until we get back to equal pay.”

To compensate for even more cuts Deal made to the program because of dwindling lottery revenues, the local school board last year halved the pre-k offerings to just 10.

For this school year, pre-k classes will be offered at Baker Place, Brookwood, Cedar Ridge, Euchee Creek, North Columbia and South Columbia elementary schools. Grovetown and North Harlem elementaries will have two classes.

Each class will contain 22 pupils, except those at Grovetown, Baker Place and South Columbia, which will contain 14 regular education pupils and six special needs pupils.

The drawing for slots starts at 8:30 a.m. Friday in the auditorium of the Board of Education office on Hereford Farm Road.

Sherman said parents of entered pupils may attend the drawing, and the results will be published on each affected school’s Web site.

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Comments (12)


One of the many perks that we

One of the many perks that we could consider in doing stuff like this might always be helping us all. - Nova Science Publishers

Lamya Dalton

This kind of reunions happen

This kind of reunions happen every year and that's great, especially after the State Senate approved the budget proposal. School is extremely important for our future, it helps our children become grown-ups and ready to start their life. When it comes to entertainment, there is always http://www.getluckybob.com in order to help children relax and have some fun. These activities are normal at their age, of course without neglecting school.

Lamya Dalton

A constant change of public

A constant change of public school system does serious damage to the students, they need to have a constants system. If state officials work with time clocks the job will be done as soon as possible, without any delays. Anyway, we must be optimistic and see that happens with state budget.


Sometimes changes are good,

Sometimes changes are good, but too many changes in the educational system can upset the children and their parents as well. Everyone wants to find a stable and quality educational institution, like the preschool in Thornton CO, which has more to offer besides the national educational program and which does many other extra curriculum activities with the children.


It still had to win the

It still had to win the approval of House lawmakers.



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