South East Bexar County Awareness: Southside ISD: Pre-K for Everyone

WHAT IS PRE-K AND IS IT FOR EVERYONE

Pre-K, while it is not mandatory; it is good for the children. As most children absorb information like a sponge at an early age, The earlier they are introduced to core subjects, the better chance they have in the long run.

Some children, get lost in the system when they don't achieve or underachieve and feel less than adequate in the classroom. As they get older and subjects become more difficult, they give up.

However, Mayor Castro passed the Pre-K program that covers and funds only those in the city. Southside ISD is for most part, a rural district. One campus, Gallardo Elementary, sits within the Pre-K program area.

The other campus' in the district do not qualify for funding through the Mayor's plan, so must be funded by the district at $425,000 per year because there is not state or federal funding for this program. The funding for this Pre-K for everyone program at Southside ISD will be funded by the taxpayers.

While most community members see this as a good thing, many believe it to be "day care" at the expense of their tax dollars.

Southside Pre-K Stats

2013-2104 School Year

  • 15 PK Classroom {4 Head Start Pre-K, 7 Reg. Pre-K and 4 Bilingual Pre-K}
  • Enrollment 281
  • 76-100 students are projected to qualify for "district" funded Pre-K
  • 5 additional classrooms and staff will be need to serve these children
  • 5 Pre-K teachers will cost the district an additional $275,000 per year
  • 5 Pre-K aides will cost the district an additional $100,00 per year
  • One time cost to furnish classrooms, approximately $50,000
  • Cost for meals will depend on the "Self Op" program and funding/fines
  • NO federal or state funding to help, funded by taxpayer dollars
  • Half day classes
  • Teachers have not been hired to fill the positions yet, teachers go back to work in a couple of weeks
  • Not prepared to provide services

Do you support Pre-K for everyone?

  • Yes
  • No
  • Only federaly funded
See results without voting

Community Concerns- Are we ready to provide services?

COMMUNITY CONCERNS

Community members are concerned with the fact that this issue came on over night. The newly appointed board has already spent over $3 million dollars in less than two months on the board. All without having attended any board training or budget workshops to understand the funding that the district has available and what it has been designated for.

These are the same board members with personal financial problems, who are now seen as running the district with the same lack of financial understanding and responsibility. At the rate they are going the district will be broke very quickly.

READY TO PROVIDE SERVICES

The Interim Superintendent, stated that he was going to "try to drive the bus", when asked about taking on the position of Interim Superintendent and his lack of qualifications. Now, he says after only a couple of weeks at the district, that they are ready to provide services.

The positions for the added Pre-K teachers and Aides have not been filled, the classrooms will be overcrowded if the additional students are allowed enrollment.

The extra bus routes and aides if any will need to be planned and hired, accordingly.

AN UNSEEN EXPENSE TO THE TAXPAYER

There is going to be an apartment complex built just behind the pilot gas station on 1604 and 37S. The complex will bring with it children that will join the district. How many additional Pre-K age students has not yet been determined.


PREVIOUS BOARD AND SUPERINTENDENT

The previous board, under the recommendation from information gathered within the district and presented during a school board meeting; opted not to provide the Pre-K for everyone due to the fact that while they had seats available and opened to others in the district, that were left vacant.

Not necessarily due to lack of interest but because some parents don't feel that their children need to be in school at such a young age. Others don't have the ability to pick up their children after half day at school when they work.

Funding, as well, was an issue because of other issues coming to the district that might require additional funding. The previous board and superintendent, as seen by their actions, looked into not only the current but future needs of the district and planned accordingly. Skills they learned in board training classes.

More by this Author


Click to Rate This Article
working