You Paid For It: State-funded Pre-K

Updated: Aug. 27, 2019 at 7:57 PM EDT
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CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCSC) - Pre-kindergarten programs help kids improve social and academic skills and can even help reduce future crime, according to the National Education Association.

In South Carolina, the state funds Pre-K programs for kids who are at-risk.

Taxpayers help pay for more than 11,000 students to attend state-funded Pre-K, also called Child Development. But space can be limited.

Charleston County Schools has more than 40 school sites offering CD/Pre-Kindergarten programs.

According to its explanatory video online, historically CCSD has had 3,000 applications and about 2,200 slots available.

This year 2,760 total students were screened for Child Development Program (not including any Head Start Programs) for a total of 2,130 seats available.

Dorchester District Two says they have 620 4-K students this year at 14 elementary schools.

A district spokesperson said, “The state funds we receive are not sufficient to totally fund the program so the program must be supplemented from the district operating budget.”

This state report shows the total budget is more than $57 million for the program from the state General Fund and Education Improvement Act (EIA).

The program serves children in the “most at-risk” category, such as kids who live in poverty or who have a documented developmental delay.

The state report also said some districts use local funds to help kids who are not in the “at risk” category, too.

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