Cuts affecting Pre-K enrollment

Published 04/30 2013 05:05PM

Updated 05/01 2013 11:55AM

CHAMPAIGN -- Funding cuts across Illinois have some schools struggling. Pre-K programs were hit extra hard last year. They saw a huge drop in money around the country.

Unit 4's Early Childhood Education serves about 300 children, but cuts will affect kids who aren't even enrolled here. Leaders say, right now there are about 150 kids on Pre-K waiting lists. They are students the program couldn't enroll because of funding cuts.

Nationwide, state funding for Pre-K programs saw its biggest drop last year; about a half-billion dollars. Experts say the time before kids start kindergarten is very important.

The local program is also seeing a bigger need as more and more parents want their kids enrolled. School leaders say they recognize the problem and actually have a group looking at the issue trying to find a way around the budget cuts.

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