My Pre-k child is getting kicked out of Public school. Can they do this ?

Bj - posted on 03/17/2011 ( 389 moms have responded )

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My Pre-k child is getting kicked out of school.



I take my kids to another county for school(i drive a 100 miles a day for better education and teachers), which is allowed. I have never paid for tuition $1000.00 for pre-k or Kindergarten. I got told on monday 03/14/11 that the school is starting something new. That they wanted to tell me that pre-k tuition for the whole school year is now due and they will work out a payment plan. No Notice, nothing in writing, just "oh hey, bye the way you owe us for the whole year." This is a lottery funded program and this school system has dropped to 4 days a week (tue-fri), how can they do this?? we don't have it so my son's last day is next friday. They won't allow him to finish, graduate, or celebrate. What happen to no kid left behind?? I am stressing to the max and trying not to cry but i will soon if I don't get some help, I am running out of time. . . . . .for once i am at a loss for words?



thanks for listening

Sincerely,

B.J. Cole

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389 Comments

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Sweta - posted on 03/25/2011

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Hey Cole
I completely sumpathize with you. I don't know much about schools yet as my kids are too young, but this does not sound right. I think you should be able to question them on this lottery BS they are coming up with. You can definately fight this and take it to the state. This is ridiculous. If I were you, I'd make as much noise as possible before accepting defeat so they think twice next time and know that parents are not for a free ride just because a school is supposed to be good.
Good Luck!!!

Elizabeth - posted on 03/25/2011

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Schools do tuition for students that are out of district because they don't get taxes for the students that are out of district. So they charge tuition to help pay for the extra students. It don't matter if they tell the state that they have students out of district and need extra money for them, they won't get it. But if the school won't work with you take the local board of education and if that don't work take it to the state board of education.

Manda - posted on 03/25/2011

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that is bull crap if i was you i would check in to the headstart program they are very helpful and there may be a possibility that there is one around your area. No parent should ever have to pay that much for a pre-k program. i do understand that is some situations they need to charge but if a family can't afford it then there should be away to work something out no child should lose the advantage of an early educational program... I myself am involved in the headstart program if there is anything i can help you with please email me and we can talk about more what can possibly be done for your situation... aberry@nvc.net
may everything turn out for the best.
my thoughts and prayers are with you and your family..
Manda

[deleted account]

No doubt you don't have $1,000 cash ready to hand over with notice. Since they said they would work out a payment plan this is what I would do. Come Tuesday morning with $100 check (or whatever you can pull together). Tell them this is your first payment in the payment plan (since they have not given you any official guidelines of their payment plan). Tell them you will PAY WHAT YOU CAN each Tuesday and that, in the meantime, you expect to see some county approved paperwork for their requests. DO NOT stop bringing your child to school unless they escort you off the campus. I'm serious. I would also contact the county's public school board and plead your case. Google it, you'll find them. Lottery funded schooling is legit and the state takes it very seriously, so know that you have a strong grounding to stand on and you have rights. Also, be sure to keep records of any money you pay to the school, (and always insist on a receipt) because if it turns out they are in the wrong, they will owe you that money back. I cannot stress enough, do not take your son out of school until the school can produce legal paperwork requiring you to pay!!! Your little guy deserves to finish and graduate with his friends! Good luck!

Tyeshia - posted on 03/25/2011

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This does seem strange. Nothing in writing, no 30 days to pay or nothing? I would go all the way up until you find out what's really going on. Call the news, do something. This is not right at all.

Angel - posted on 03/25/2011

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I know this sounds really hard, but I went through something similar with my daughter in kinder. At the time, I felt devastated. But what happened is I went "school shopping" and found a place that was infinitely better for her. Right now, you need to trust and open your thoughts to alternatives. You will meet similar challenges on the road of elementary education. This school is not your only option. No school has absolute power over your child's education. Keep the faith, see what else is out there.

Ctraw81 - posted on 03/25/2011

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BJ, I understand that you want your child to be in the safest school with the best teachers ever. As a good mother, this is only natural. But you need to trust that you are raising your child well enough to be okay in a regular public school. Besides, if you shelter him to much he wont know what to expect from others and he'll just follow the crowd because he had never been exposed to know that this behavior was wrong. And I'm thinking that this is something that you are worried about. If my suggestion is not helpful then maby you could homeschool him. You can do this absolutely free by visiting websites such as www.education.com. Here they have worksheets for all different ages and subjects that you can print off. This however does require alot of paper and ink. You can also go to almost any store and buy workbooks for different ages and subjects for $1-$5. Another benifit of this is being able to teach him things that he normally would not learn until middle school or later and this gives him a head start. For instance, you could teach him about wood carving. Things like this also teach him a trade for later in life. I really hope this helps and I'm sorry for your situation. God Bless---Carolyn

Brandi - posted on 03/25/2011

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In Georgia, you are not allowed to go to a school outside of your school district UNLESS you pay tuition. So, I am not sure why they haven't made you pay before. And, Yes, I think they CAN do this.

Jane - posted on 03/25/2011

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If you are taking your child to a school in another county, the school can charge tuition because your taxes go to support schools in your own county. We have run into this in our area, too, where the state lottery also helps fund schools. However, the law says if you are out of district you must pay tuition.

It sounds as if you were aware of the tuition but were hoping they would let you slide. You are legally liable for the money and should have paid it long ago. At least they are nice enough to offer a payment plan. As to why they are collecting it now "all of a sudden," thanks to all the Republicans getting into office this past election, many states have cut back on school funding. As a result schools need to either lay off teachers and staff or find another source of funding. Legally. out of district students must pay tuition. They may have let it slide in the past because they had surplus funding. But now they need the tuition funds.

We have 5 public school districts within our city limits, and lottery money not withstanding, out of district means tuition. Many folks either move into the district, or lie to the school and use a relative's address in the district as their family address.

AT this point your solutions are these:

Move into the district so you become a local tax payer.

Pay the fee,

Withdraw your child from that school,

Tammy - posted on 03/25/2011

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I am not sure what school system your child goes to, mine goes to a charter school. But I would speak to someone on the trustee board as well as the board of education. Charter schools are not allowed to charge, however the ones here do not have a pre-k program and the pre-k program could be under different rules compared to the regular school grades. Also, they can NOT charge you for the "past" year. If you didn't sign papers prior and in agreement, they can't say BTW... we decided to charge you now and you owe us money. I wish you the best.... it is so frustrating to get a good education for your child, even the charter schools can have some major issues too.

Kat - posted on 03/25/2011

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I'm so sorry your going through this... I don't know much about what schools can do or not do but I am with you that it is so wrong... You should have been giving a notice about the changes that way you could have made a choice about what was best for your son... Sorry I couldn't help more.... I understand how stressful dealing with schools can be since I have a five year old in kindergarten myself.

Tammy - posted on 03/25/2011

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I'm not sure what state you live in, but in New Jersey, pre-k and even kindergarten are not state mandatory. In our state, it is mandatory to provide education once a child is 6, so that's why public schools do carry a kindergarten program since most kindergarteners turn 6 during the year. However, students who are identified as having special needs do have a right to an early intervention through the state at a public school. Therefore, some public schools do carry a pre-k program. Since a teacher is being provided for those identified children, they will often open up a lottery for the town to fill in the spaces up to the state-declared maximum. In our town, it costs about $1000 for the year -- a tremendous difference in cost for all other privately-run preschools in town.
While I would be upset by the sudden notice of their change in policy, I wouldn't blame in on the school, the teacher, the nation. While I think forums like this are sometimes good for voicing opinions, I find it extremely frustrating reading people's posts who jump on the negativity bandwagon who are clearly uniformed. Find out your state regulations in education and ask questions; everyone should be informed about his or her child's education -- if you don't, you only have you to blame.

Danielle - posted on 03/25/2011

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Where I live the lowest place for pre-k is $375 a month. If they are asking $1000 for the whole school year, this is a bargain. I stay at home with my kids, but if I had to put them in pre-k I wouldn't bus them 100 miles a day. I would find something more local with trustworthy people. This is not a requirement by state to have your child enrolled in pre-k. Furthermore, it is unfair to put extra strain on the public school system that you don't pay tax for. You would save more than $1000 in gas alone over the year in finding something local. It would be different perhaps if they gave you a week to come up with $1000, but they are willing to work out a payment plan. In times like these you are lucky that they have not done away with the program completely. No child left behind does not apply to pre-k, only in the circumstance that the child is special needs, and needs some form of early intervention. Take responsibility of your children and stop feeling like you are entitled to free pre school. If you can't take on that responsibility, you need to find something closer. I doubt that you will find any place that is going to charge $111.00 per month. Sorry to sound non supportive, but its just my two cents.

Katena - posted on 03/25/2011

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Wow is all I can say how they can they not give me warning or anything and except a 1000 dollars in a few days. I bet a lot of parents are upset. Talk with other parents and make sure you are not being singled out for any reason good luckand I am sorry.

Lisa - posted on 03/25/2011

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Pre-k has never been free here in Texas. The cheapest I have ever found is $135 for two days a week from 9-2. The usual prices for these pre-k's or mothers day out is $135-$200 a month. And if you stick them in a montessori school we are talking a minimum of $700/month.
If they never informed you that there is a tuition you should just talk to them and find out why you were never informed about this before. But honestly it seems to me you were getting a steal.

Kelley - posted on 03/25/2011

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No Child Left Behind, first of all, has absolutely nothing to do with this. This is a pre-k program, and they are well within their rights to do this. No Child Left Behind is an accountability program and it has nothing to do with guaranteeing everyone an education.

That said, I would probably speak to school administration and find out if there are any scholarships available. There are almost always need-based scholarships in these situations.

Like several other people said, it's preschool. You can cover the curriculum yourself and you can have a graduation celebration at home, right? And move forward into kindergarten and all will be well. No need for tears.

Jennifer - posted on 03/25/2011

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I would love $1000/yr tuition for my preschooler. We are paying $2500 for 3yr old preschool. Pre-K is going to cost $3500, so $1000 would be a welcomed relief. We use our income tax return to pay our kids (2) tuition every year. We chose private school for many reasons and live a very thrifty life as a result of the sacrafice we are making for our children's education. If you think about it, it's less than $100mo. What can you cut out of your budget to make this happen, if you find it that important? Maybe find a 'better' school closer & save the gas money to pay for tuition?

Teresa - posted on 03/25/2011

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Most schools make you pay if you are out of district and even tell you at any point can be removed for a student in district if needed. You should have been notified when registerd so I would clamly talk to the admisstrator or a borad member. I say clamly because not everyone takes kindly to outside district children. I've been 13 schools /states in my life because of father being in millitary and never had to pay, but recently moved to Illinios and learn I have to pay $200/child to send my kids to school plus they nickel and dime with computer fees, special school backpacks, and other things. One top of sending home this redicilous list of supplies and I pay more in school taxes here then I ever did in New York and never paid a dime. But in most states Pre-K is optional and cost unless your child is high risk meaning socially, ecomonically, mental, or physically delay.
Good luck but I don't think there is much you can could because are out of district.
Also "No child left behind" is a program preventing child from failing. You can have to should extreme measure were taken not prevent a child from failing. It has nothing to with Pre-K.

Kristen - posted on 03/25/2011

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Do you have your paperwork from when he started? It might indicate there about payment. They might be able to charge you more than other children because he is out of district. Maybe even talk to other parents about it because I am sure you are not the only parent upset. Talk to the school board. I would also check for schools in your area because you should not being driving 100 miles a day to take your child to school. I am sure there are great schools in your surrounding area.

Beverly - posted on 03/25/2011

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I feel so bad for you..that's horrible..did they say the reason why they are doing this?

Tamara - posted on 03/25/2011

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They should have given you written notice. If it's a totally state run program I don't think they should be able to put you out but if it's based on your local taxes then they may really need you to pay since you're in a different county. I hope it works out and your son is allowed to complete the school year with his friends.

Jennifer - posted on 03/25/2011

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Well not nice to spring it on you but as I live is a district DPS where they charge in or out of district for prek and only half day k is free. Mind you if you have a special needs child or make verry little you have to pay tution. 1-5 is free thats it. (even the half dayers have been switched to full day k this year so it seems they have chosen to stop that option.) And yea I know more then one family with a child in k who were not told at the begining of the year how much they had to pay and are getting bills now with all past payments due now. The District does the billing and telling how much the parents are required to pay, they have been behind this year and if you are one of the familys that it is sprung on eather you pay or your child is no longer going to be going to school. So sorry you were not informed at the begining of the year my hubby and I were calling the district for weeks to find out our tuition payment. And no we are not in a charter school, for that matter the school is crap! hopping they get seats in the charter school for next school year (wait listed but better then nothing).

Jackie - posted on 03/25/2011

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it sounds like some horrible scam. i could see them asking for money for the last week but to expect you to pay for the entire year is completley stealing. the rule recently changed and you should only have to pay from the time you were notified till now. not the entire year because if you were on the program you were already approved for that year. some one is missunderstanding and it needs to be addressed.

Molly - posted on 03/25/2011

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Yes, absolutely! Public schools are paid for with local tax money. If you aren't in the district, they can ask for tuition. There were probably cut backs due to the budget shortfalls in your state. I would say $1k for preschool is a steal. I pay FAR more for that in a private school here in DC.

Elaina - posted on 03/25/2011

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unfortunately there isn't a whole lot you can do at this point. That is a complete bummer that there was such a major miscommunication on their part. If it were me, I'd research some programs closer to home. IF they are going to make you pay the entire amount regardless; then you may as well have him stay and at least get your money's worth. Although you are really stressed and completely stressed right now (as most of us would be) you need to make sure you don't lose control of your emotions. Although you may want to cry and scream and throw things, don't. Staying calm and rationale will get you more progress then the previous. Hope things work out. :(

Danielle - posted on 03/25/2011

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Cry if you need to. Everything happens for a reason. Just keep looking for the good reason this is happening. Maybe you need to be with your son and spend more time together and school was getting in the way of that. Check out Unschooling, if it resonates with you, I can tell you that it is a very joyful and connected way to live/be with children.

Cindy - posted on 03/25/2011

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Hi BJ,

I can feel your frustration and understand your in a difficult position. I would talk to the principal about any papers signed at the beginning of the school year. Usually, a school cannot force your child to stop attending over finances, especially if you never signed anything showing that you agreed to pay for that year. I would allow my son to finish out the school year without paying. The school does not have a leg to stand on unless he is a problem child, then they might just be using money as an excuse....Good Luck!

Mom of 2

Kari - posted on 03/25/2011

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Really? That doesnt even sound like something anyone would ever do! As far as no child left behind....that applies to public schools and is for education. Not for you paying your tuition. Talk to the pre school director and ask why they are charging you now, when you were never charged before. Talk to some other parents and get a petitio going. Make the news with this.

Karen - posted on 03/25/2011

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Schools are typically funded by a combination of property taxes, sales taxes other taxes paid by residents of the school district itself and the villages they serve. In the case of lottery funds being available, those are on top of the regular funding and may or not be available at different times. In times of economic stress, those funds get diverted by lawmakers and tax revenues fall. The first thing to get cut when money is short is "permissive attendance", those students who live outside of the district and do not contribute tax dollars to the school. It is not nice, but it isn't unfair, to require a tuition fee to students from outside the district. Especially for non-state-required preschool programs and others that are likely funded by grants and special state funds that are now disappearing. See what payment plan they offer. If your child is at-risk or has a disability, the rules are different and you have more options, but again, these are the programs that are losing state funding all across the nation.

Call your local health department, regional or county education department and ask for their IEP specialist. They usually have someone to assist parents with the legal portion of the special education process. Even if your children do not qualify for special education, this person will know all about inclusion rules for the state and what they can or cannot do. You may have options depending on your state law.

Lisa - posted on 03/25/2011

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I am sorry that you are going through this stress B.J. I have some ideas that may help you.. so quickly here are things you should check into.. You have different laws that protect your child in a public school setting. and I.E.P. individual education plan. Does your child have one? it is to be paid for by the school. Federal Law demands that. Your state also has laws. and also as part of the ADA American's with Disabilities Act there are laws protecting your child. If you have not been offered these, you might be able to prolong dismissal until these practices are put into place and find that continued education in the same setting might indeed be the best plan for your child. Perhaps you can find and Independent Living Center in your Area and request an Advocate or Emergency Referal for help. I hope one of these things helps you. L. Canto

Shealey - posted on 03/25/2011

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Were I'm from you would always have to pay if you didn't live in that county because you may be taking a spot from someone that does live there. Plus they don't get funding for your child because they don't live in that county. Sorry for your hard times I hope things work out

Heather - posted on 03/25/2011

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BJ, where I live you have to show proof of residency to the town that the child is being registered in schooln not even the county and if it's found out that the child does not live in the town/city then it is a $16-17,000+ charge. There was no free pre-k program in the town that I live in so my daughter did not go. I have to say that if there was a 4 full day program for $1000, for the year, I would have done it in a hreatbeat, I would have found the $$ where I live for 4 2.5-3 hour days cost $4,100-5,000/yr. For full-time its $11-17,000/yr. If it were me, I'd crunch numbers and see if you can cut back on something for a couple of months and try to pay for it. Were you planning on sending you child there for K and beyond?? You should find out if there are fees for other grades too. I am so sorry that this is happening to you
BTW.... If you did not sign a tuition agreement before enrolling your child, I don't think they can just hit you with a charge near the end of the you. I would talk to the Board of Education in that county and I'd call Legal Aide in that county and talk to them. You may be able to use the school and board. I wouldn't sue for money but the right to let my child finish out the school year.

Victoria - posted on 03/25/2011

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In my state (NY) it has been policy for over 20 years that you have to pay tuition for out of town/county because you are not paying in taxes to that town/county. No Child Left Behind was intended for kids who don't have any opportunities, if you have them & just want something better, then you have to pay for it. Do you have a free pre-k in your own county? Even if it isn't as good as the one he is in now I would switch him so he doesn't miss out. Better than nothing in my opinion. Good Luck!

Dora - posted on 03/25/2011

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What happened to human decency? I'm tempted to say he would be better off without those people, but that doesn't help. Are there other people in the same situation? Could you get them to join you in getting a lawyer to find out if what they're doing is actually legal? If not, then maybe you could jointly sue the school.

Terry - posted on 03/25/2011

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If this is funded through public schools I don't know how they can charge. Is it mandatory? Also they can't just suddenly spring this on you. I would go through the chain of command. Somethiig is not right.

Michelle - posted on 03/25/2011

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Unfortunately, Pre-K does not receive the same protections that k-12 does, it is NOT a requirement to be offered by most school districts, in my district (upstate NY) it is not even administered by the school, merely housed there, and you have to meet low income requirements for your child to be allowed to attend. I feel your pain, and understand how heart breaking this may be, but with budget cuts EVERY where, this is the reality that we face. I would start with researching your options for tuition assistance, scholarships, etc. Otherwise, perhaps you might have to let your child finish in his own home district until you can work out a financially viable way (maybe moving into your district of choice is a possibility?) for your son to continue in school.
You don't mention the pay plan...do they expect you to pay it all before June? Or can you string it along until June of next year? I would approach the school board and get the full story before pulling him out of school. As most budgets and tuition changes must be voted on by the residents of the district, and those votes are not until May I don't see how they can make this change NOW, as opposed to beginning with the start of the educational fiscal year which is July 1.

Laura - posted on 03/25/2011

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thats a tough one........what a bummer the school did that. They should at least give you time to work out a payment plan as promised. Good luck!!!

Katie - posted on 03/25/2011

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I wouldn't worry about it since there was nothing in writting. I am not even sure they can make that kind of change this late in the year though they may be able to start something like that for next year.

Joyce - posted on 03/25/2011

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We paid $85 per month for pre-K. Most pre-K programs do require payment. You were probably lucky to get by as long as you did without paying.

May Ann - posted on 03/25/2011

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ohh I'm sorry for you.why is the school didn't noticed the parents? The parents have the right to be informed beforehand that there are tuitions or whatever payments there will be at the start of the school year.

Haroula - posted on 03/25/2011

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You need some help and you need it quick. Go find yourself a child advocate and fight this. Nobody can tell you mid year that you owe tuition if that wasn't discussed when your child entered school. Keep sending your child to school and don't allow anyone to bully you. You must seek help from local representatives who advocate education. Good luck

Alison - posted on 03/25/2011

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Dear B.J.
Let me get this straight. Your child has been going to this school all year with no payments, and now they are asking for payments for THIS year! That, first of all, seems like against the law! Second of all, it's perfectly fine if they want to implement something new, but they need to wait until the next school year. I think you should look for another place, as good as this school may be, they sure don't seeem to be very moral!! Just my opinion. I wish you the best of luck, and I hope you find something very soon. BTW, I was a preschool teacher for 15 years, and I have NEVER heard anything like that. If we raised tuition, we did it with ample notice!! Sincerely, Alison Cutrone :)

Cynthia - posted on 03/25/2011

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You will have to talk to Department of Education about the situation that you have not been told about the new program. All school especially private schools have fees/Levy and can accept part payments without having to kick a child out.

Yurena - posted on 03/25/2011

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Also, here you pay for any care before 3, and after they do some funded sessions, whatever extra you want you pay off your pocket, not cheap either.

Yurena - posted on 03/25/2011

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Mmmm. Many questions come to my mind. You pay petrol and waste all that time driving there and back and don't have the money for the fees. Why don't you just put your child in a 'normal' school and use that time and money you save to get a few resources and do some home schooling yourself? Not to be critical but iI went to a mediocre school, in a neighbourhood of thieves and prostitutes and I ended up going to Uni, I am a teacher and speak 4 languages. My parents didn't have a penny. I'm just trying to say that whatever you do with them it's going to influence them to choose the right things in life, also at this stage there is so much you can teach them, it is not like they are learning physics yet. Still, inform yourself about the choices and talk to the board. Good luck, x.

Bea - posted on 03/25/2011

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Hi BJ,
sorry I don't understand your situation or know laws to help you. I do know that a different situation pushed my 4 year old out of school and it was devastating to him. they are at a very vulnerable age and see such change as personal rejection. in our case, when God closed a door he pretty quickly opened a window of opportunity elsewhere and now it is even better. I can only pray the same happens for you and your child. I do advise that you try not to make a huge deal out of it as that will stress out your child and make some extra efforts so your child doesn't feel rejected. hope this helps.

Samantha - posted on 03/25/2011

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hi first thing i am sorry that the school is puting u throue this as its not far to u and your kids they cant i would of thout justd askd u like this they av to give some notice in writting to u i would of thout so my addvice to u is to go right to the top this is wot i did when i got told if i dont like the way that my kid was geting treated by an nother child go and find an nothere school so i went to socile services and told them this and they did talk to me and give me good help there allso child health team that u could call them hopy u findc this helpful.

Jennifer - posted on 03/25/2011

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Sarah Schwadron... full day kindergarten is a required grade in atleast two states that I know of right now.... Indiana and Michigan. I would really watch what you say. Not to mention there are some states that are starting to require pre-k.

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