Raleigh, NC - Lawmakers in Raleigh reversed course on a plan to privatize pre-kindergarten in North Carolina and tighten up eligibility.
The House Select Committee on Early Childhood Education Improvement had issued a draft report calling for limiting access for pre-kindergarten classes to children whose families are at or below the federal poverty level, or an annual income of about $22,000 for a family of four.
Under the current plan, children are eligible for pre-kindergarten if a family of four makes less than $51,000 per year.
The committee also decided not to pursue privatizing pre-kindergarten, and instead leaving things they way they currently are, with a mix of private centers and public schools running the programs.
Rep. Maggie Jeffus, who was opposed to the plan, told News 2 she was surprised by the change of course but felt like public pressure against the plan played a large role.
Jeffus said, "I think it was the many emails and the many calls from the parents, they were very upset, they were happy where their children were placed at this particular time and that was the public schools for the most part and they wanted them to remain there.'
During the hearing, committee Co-Chairman Justin Burr said, "This is just the beginning of what I hope will be a very long dialogue as we move to improve early childhood education, to look at at-risk factors and to make sure we're doing what we need to help those kids who are truly at risk."