Update on NC Public Hearings on Budget

More details are coming out on the hearings. Please plan to attend. To help show your support for NC’s early childhood system, download a flyer, adhere it to cardboard, and bring your sign to the hearings.

Below is the text from the press release put out from the House Appropriations Committee.

The hearing will be held from 6-9 p.m. in the auditorium of the North Carolina Museum of History in Raleigh on Fayetteville Street. Ten community colleges across the state will host interactive broadcasts of the hearing and it will also be streamed live on the Internet.

Committee members would like to invite members of the public to offer suggestions and comments about the budget. Each speaker will have three minutes to share information. Other rules may also be established and will be available online at http://www.ncleg.net closer to the date of the hearing. Information about how to submit written comments and how to access the online broadcast will also be available at the site.

Visit www.nccommunitycolleges.edu/colleges_map.aspx for contact information and driving directions to each campus.

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14 Comments

Filed under Early Childhood, Legislative and Governmental

14 responses to “Update on NC Public Hearings on Budget

  1. Louisa Emmons

    It would be a tremendous loss to the state of North Carolina if More At Four became a Subsidy Plus program under DSS. More At Four has been the second most successful preschool program in the nation serving at-risk children and preparing them for academic and social success! Children from financially disadvantaged families are not only given excellent academic preparation for kindergarten in this program, they are given a number of vital screenings which are free—visual, dental, educational and hearing. They are referred further for any needed services and many of these services are either free or at reduced cost to families. Why would the state of North Carolina create a program noted for it’s excellence only to take it apart a few years later? Our legislators must consider the needs of our children with disabilities who are provided trained intervention under the More At Four program. Those of us who work directly with these children can tell you that tremendous differences can be made in the lives of these children in only two years. Please do not undo the hard work of many professionals, and the hopes of families who turn to us to help their children. More At Four needs to survive as a service to our state.

    • You are so right! We here good things about the More@Four Program and how it helps our children and parents all the time. The program is a true blessing to us all. It would truly be a sad thing to see cuts like this made to a program that has so much success and does so much for our children.

  2. I am very sad to see this happenning to our children. After all, we say to ourselves and to others, that our children are our future and are the most precious gift we have. If you make these cuts you are saying that the children are not that important to us. Not only are they getting hurt by the budget cuts but the teachers and administrative staff who put a lot of hard work into making a big difference in the lives of our children will be hurt by this too. As a pre-k teacher I speak from my heart for our children and only want what’s best for them and their parents. What affects them affects us all. I live paycheck to paycheck, but you can best believe that every morning that I am blessed to rise up out of my bed I thank and ask God to help me be a better teacher to the children I work with using all the resources and materials that are available to me. For this and many other reasons I “SAY YES” TO EARLY CHILDHOOD!

  3. Bridgette Johnson

    Say “YES” to Early Childhood Education & KEEP MORE AT FOUR UNDER THE DEPARTMENT OF PUBLIC INSTRUCTION!

    Even though we are enduring tough economic times you should not balance the budget on the backs of pre-k children!

    The Senate’s proposed budget jeopardizes our children’s education and the strength of North Carolina’s future workforce.

    High quality education is the key to our state’s financial future! We must educate our children adequately to aid them in being globally competitive citizens!

    Keep More at Four under the Department of Public Instruction and do not increase class size!

  4. Jeremiah Johnson

    I am writing in regards to the proposed Senate Budget cut of More at Four, not as an educator, but as a father. As a high school assistant principal, I know the importance of earning an education, especially in these hard economic times. Education is the key to a successful career and a lack of such can mean the difference between candidate A or B getting a job. Also, pre-kindergarten is the first defense to prevent high school dropouts, something that my school works hard to prevent. Many of the drop outs we encounter did not attend a high quality pre-kindergarten program such as More at Four.

    However, I am not writing about that, but the importance of More at Four pre-kindergarten in my children’s lives. Both of my children were students in a More at Four Classroom at Blount Pre-K Center in New Hanover County. My boys are now in 1st and 3rd grades, respectively, and they are at the top of their classes, earning high marks and praise from their teachers. It was the foundation and high expectations established by their More at Four teachers Mrs. Barnes and Mrs. Johns that has lead to their success in school. When they both entered kindergarten, they were more than prepared and both teachers commented on how well prepared they were. Because of the streamlined curriculum between Pre-K and Kindergarten established by the North Carolina Department of Public Instruction, my children had a very productive and successful time in kindergarten. More at Four, under the Office of Readiness and the North Carolina Department of Public Instruction, have established a curriculum that ensures student success, set forth stringent and high standards for teachers, certification, and continuing education, and provides services such as early intervention, IEP’s, and other services to aide and help with the educational and academic success of children. My children, my boys, are proof of that. Remember, pre-k is here to help provide a strong foundation that will ensure the long-term educational and academic success of a student. More at Four has done this!!

    I am asking that we keep More at Four under the Office of Readiness and the North Carolina Department of Public Instruction and at the current levels of funding. More at Four is about school and academic readiness and NCDPI is about education.

    Sincerely,

    Jeremiah Johnson
    Father of two More @ Four Graduates
    Assistant Principal

  5. Sharon Collins

    As an educator and mother I can’t understand why our state government is finding ways to cut budget costs that directly effect the quality of our children’s education. There are so many other ways to save money than to cut funding for education. More @ Four is a program that has finally reached out to the community and offered a direct transition for children into elementary school. If you are reading this please do your part and speak out to save our quality education programs that are proven successful and important to the success of our children.

  6. Joel Bullard

    I am writing to keep the More At Four in its current format. By changing the program you would undermine the integrity at its core. The program is a vital part of educating the children’s lives that normally would not have the opportunity of others. The extra year of development is needed to help prepare them for kindergarten. This is beneficial for the children mentally and socially. I have seen firsthand children that could not tell you their name, count to 2 or even say their ABC’s, much less point them out on a board at the beginning of the year. As the year progressed and at the end they were able to count well into their 20’s, say and sing their ABC’s, and write their name. The children should know coming into kindergarten how to do all of this and if the program is changed or done away with then the advancement and readiness of the children would change. The Pre-K program was established to benefit children that would not necessarily get the attention at home. The educational and social success of the children starts with the teachers in the More At Four program. So, WHY would you ever consider changing a program that has been so successful – just to save a few bucks? It doesn’t make “cents” to change. Remember the kids and how beneficial it has been and will be for our future.

    • Christie Leitch

      I support the comments of Mr. Bullard and others listed here. Keep the More at Four Program under Dept. of Public Instruction. Thanks.

  7. Kelly Grubb

    As a North Carolina certified teacher and a parent of young children, I am surprised at the government’s choice. Research has proven that the MORE AT FOUR program benefits the students, parents, and community. It is cost effective in the short run and the long run.

    Please find another area to cut back on, and keep the MORE AT FOUR program under the Department of Public Instruction. That choice will benefit ALL of the citizens of North Carolina.

  8. Irene Johnson Dowdle

    I am a teacher in a Pre-Kindergarten classroom in McDowell County Public Schools. I am very much against taking the Pre-K programs out from under The Department of Public Instruction. The possible changes this would create would be very detrimental to our Pre-K classrooms that rank number 2 in the nation.

    I teach More-At-Four students, children with identified disabilities, and students whose parents pay. I have a state teacher’s certificate in both regular education and special education for Birth through Kindergarten.

    I am also a mother of four grown sons. As a mother I would be the first to agree with those who say it is a parent’s place to provide the early education for their children. The sad truth is across our state there are so many parents who are not or can not step up and do what is best for their young children. Sometimes it is a case of not knowing what to do and that is where our program makes the biggest difference. We see our parents almost every school day and we have the opportunity to provide them with research based information about early child development and information to help them be successful in assisting their children in their present and future education.

    In our county (McDowell), there are 17 More at Four classrooms integrated into placements such as McDowell Technical Community College, private daycare centers and all of our public elementary schools. Please know that these programs may be combined with other programs such as Head Start or private daycares in the same setting. We have worked to build a strong bond of support for our children and wish to protect it at all costs.

    Being under The Department of Public Instruction has been a great benefit for our Pre-K classrooms that are located in the public school. The teachers are under the leadership of the school’s principal and the director of the Exceptional Children’s program. We also have wonderful support from the public school staff. We are educators of young children. We are not there to “baby sit.” Ask any kindergarten teacher what she thinks of the Pre-K programs and he or she will tell you it has made a huge difference in the readiness of students entering kindergarten and therefore the effects of our program continue on for many years; maybe even on to college.

    Changes could mean:

    * Significant budgetary and administration losses
    * Good qualified teachers may be lost
    * Bonds and relationships with the community
    * The lost of what is know throughout the United States as a Highly Qualified Pre-K program.

    I feel what we have is working and as the saying goes, “if it ain’t broke, don’t try and fix it.”

    Please understand I respect all the hard decisions you have to make. These are difficult times and money can only go so far. All I am asking is for you to take a look at the concerns of those of us working on the “front lines.”

    Thank you.

  9. Crystal Clark

    As a mother of a young child, I believe that the More at Four program should stay in its current format under the Department of Public Instruction. The program has proven its effectiveness and its benefits. Please leave the program alone and find somewhere else to cut back.

  10. Crystal Clark

    Please leave the More at Four Program in its current format under the Department of Public Instruction. The program has proven its effectiveness and its benefits…please find somewhere else to cut back.

  11. Please keep the More at Four Program in its current format under the Department of Public Instruction. The children need qualified teachers with the appropriate training, resources and knowledge. How unfair it is to the families who cannot afford a private pre-school. Shouldn’t we offer the best to our future generation?

  12. Jennifer Bullard

    I am a More at Four teacher and know first hand of the benefits this program provides for the young children of North Carolina. This program provides four year olds with social and pre-academic experiences that lay a strong foundation for academic success. This is evident by the national recognition More at Four has received. The More at Four program needs to stay under DPI in order to maintain its success and the benefits to the children.

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