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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Jennifer - posted on 03/25/2011

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What state do you live in? I know that in Michigan.... they can't charge you for tution by law. I would contact a lawyer and ask for copies of all the paperwork that you signed at the begining of the school year and go over it with a fine toothed comb. I would also try talking to your local television stations and see if they are willing to help. It's unethical to kick a kid out of school over money at the end of the school year. I would also try contacting the school system's superindentant's office and make sure there wasn't some mistake. And I would continue to take my child to the school until you do get something in writing. They have to send something in writing. I know this probably isn't that helpful but It's all I've got.

Natasha - posted on 03/25/2011

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WellBj I have not had to go through any thing like this yet, but one thing I do know is that I know how you feel our children work hard all year in prekindergarten and some may say that they wont remember it I say maybe not the teachers or who was in there class but the learning princepals are the foundation of how they will learn from that point on. You may not like the fact of placing your child in another school so late in the term but if talking with your childs school board gets you no where you can transfer and by law they have to provide transcripts. Then maybe the school your child moves to will allow them to still graduate. I have plenty of friends who did not even attend prek and now as adults they are dr.'s and lawyer's. So even if you cant get this resolved try to keep positive and working with your child at home.

Trayawn - posted on 03/25/2011

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If you cannot afford to pay that kind of money in this economy. Put your child in a Public or Charter school until your finances get better. A lot if people think that Private Schools are the best schools in the whole wide world and that is not always true. Some parents millions of dollars for their child' s tuition and child dud not succeed in life. Do your homework on the Public and Charter school system and stop burning all of that gas driving 100 miles a day. Gas prices are soaring. That school is no good for your child anyway because they are all about the money not the education.

[deleted account]

I am very sensitive, to each member of society contributing to that society and to each member therefore drawing the benefit of collective contribution. To ask $20 per week for the care of your children is not a big ask. I mean really? In most places in the western world, where users pay, the going rate is $400 per week - more or less depending on location. I would have thought that both the earth and the children could possibly do with out 400 miles of travel and consequential fossil fuel use each week. It just seems incongruous for someone to use an incredible amount of fuel and money to drive outside their area (assuming that they contribute in their own area, but not the centre's area) to use the resources meant for another family in the actual area, and then to complain about the minimal costs of the actual care itself. I just think perhaps that a little clarity and a little less sensationalizing of the situation is required.

Bola - posted on 03/25/2011

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Hi B J
I do feel for you but I don't know how I can help, because I am also in a predicament now. I live in the U K and at the moment the new Government has scrapped whatr call Sure Start for the under fives, everyone used to be able to use this facility especially the low income people to take their children there before they start school, but now we have to pay for private facilities and co, the rich so called never ever consider us that are actually struggling, but only think of themselves.

Hang on in there and surely someone will surely hear ur cry, I don't have any money to give I can only pray for it to get better.

Don't worry my friend it will surely get better, but let me know how you get on

Take care of urself and ur family

Vancie - posted on 03/25/2011

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It does not sound right to me either I will check with other parents to see if they were told the same thing. Also go to board, press, an government officials. I removed my son from pre k an ology him in private which is an option you have but to pay that's crazy also don't sign n e thing. I wish ur the best

Terri Lynn - posted on 03/25/2011

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I wouldn't put my child in a any school even if they paid me to! I consider schools to be children's prisons where they are kept in an unnatural environment and out of the real age-integrated world. I have been involved in homeschooling for 20 years and research has shown that homeschooled children outperform public and private schooled kids in academics by an outrageous margin and are better socialized in the real world. There are many books, organizations, magazines, and curriculum materials to support homeschooling as well as local support groups. The homeschool groups have diplomas, fancy graduations, field trips, and more. Who needs schools! If you want the best education and the best teacher- your home school would be it! I have been a homeschool consultant for 20 years and write individualized curriculum (for free) and can tell you, NOTHING is better than home. I could give you info if you need it if you want. Homeschooling is almost free (you'll want a few inexpensive things) or you can sign up for a program like Calvert School where they send materials and curriculum but any way you go, homeschooling is superior. I can offer info if you need it and would be very happy to!
Terri Lynn Merritts (you can also friend me on Facebook if you want).

Marissa - posted on 03/24/2011

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If this is a lottery funded program there is absolutely no way they should be charging you for you child going there.. They are already being funded to accept your child from a different district.. I do understand that usually there is a fee for pre-k but not if they have included it in the lottery program, that means they have been funded a good amount of money already per child that they accept..

Kelly - posted on 03/24/2011

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I have heard that several of the state funded pre-k programs charge a fee, but i thought that they had to notify before you register your child in this program. Also I believe and maybe wrong about this, but I think there is supposed to be a program for low income children where they can attend for free. Check with your state dept. of education they should be able to tell you.

Patricia - posted on 03/24/2011

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try contacting the board of education in your area this totally unfair and ridiculous they are pathetic

Victoria - posted on 03/24/2011

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Janet McMaster... are you from Canada? I live in British Columbia Canada..lol. Pre-school is voluntary not mandatory. We pay upwards of $30 - $40 a day for "pre-school". Public school we don't pay until highschool except for outings, non-school funded things we are still paying for by attending school fundraisers because the school wants to provide these "extras" and we want our children to have them. I'm not sure where you're from but that load of crap about BC and Canada not paying for education is just that, a load of crap. We do have fairly good health care though :)



If you want your child to go to school in another country you should be paying for it. You don't pay taxes in that country why should their citizens be paying for your child's education. $1,000 a year is pocket change if the interest of your child's education is important to you. Just my opionion though. I've paid for 2 children so far and 2 more to come in the future. If I can do it you can. I was a single mom for the first 2 and I managed.

Mary - posted on 03/24/2011

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In our school district preK is not free nor required. I sent my daughter to a little church preschool down the street from our home for both 3 year preK and 4 year preK. I did this because she is an only child and I wanted her to have friends and learn to be with and work with a group. She did very well and my husband and I only did for social reasons. We felt it was our responsibility to teacher her her numbers, ABCs, shapes, personal items like phone number, street address, parents name, ect. She was a bit shy at first but did love to be with other kids so she did very well. If I remember correctly 3 yprek cost about $45 a week (for 2 days a week) and 4 yprek cost $65 a week (for 3 days a week). I thought that was a bargin. She is now in 2nd grade in our public school system and doing great. We do have a good school district in our area. Most districts do not pay for preschool nor is it required. Some districts do not even have a full day of kindergarten. Mine did. But many still do not. No child left behind is a crock. In my opinion many kids get left behind in the womb. Think about it. Its up to the school district to teach, but the parents are responisible for also teaching and enforcing what kids are taught and are learning. Parents need to be active in the learning process. I could go on but I will end here.

Janet - posted on 03/24/2011

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Katrina , you were not very sensitive towards the mother who is almost in tears, she needs help not criticism.

Andrea - posted on 03/24/2011

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I suspect by the "lottery" it is the state lottery (ummm...powerball?? type) that donates towards schools etc. They place stipulations on how the prospected counties are allowed to manage the money and often times that means that it is only allowed to be granted for those who reside in the county of the schools they attend. Its is fair when it comes to the taxes and the break down. Being in a family full of teachers thats all I get to hear about during family dinners. The education system really doesnt have two pennies to rub together. The fact is, if you have the money to pay for the gas to get your son a better education 100 miles round trip a day for pre-k I would consider yourself fortunate. Take the payment arrangment if you dont have the money on hand and wipe your tears because you have been already doing what many parents dream they had the time or money to do for they kids. I dont want to sound crude but put on the big girl panties and realize that there are people who are stretching it to put food on the table and with amt you are paying to fuel your journey for pre-k would pay your childs tuition in a few months. Or put food on a families table for a year.

Janet - posted on 03/24/2011

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Hello B.J. Cole, sorry to hear of this. Where do you live ? In Canada, or elsewhere ? Canada or British Columbia is not supposed to charge fees for education of any kind. Phone your local government M.L.A. or someone who has knowledge on this, I hope you will fined help, God bless you .

[deleted account]

It is only $20 per week. You probably spend four times this on the petral for your 400km of driving! Here education is $1000 per month. Don't look a gift horse in the mouth.

Jeanne - posted on 03/24/2011

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That's awful, BJ. It really is. In my opinion, they have no right to come up and ask you for the money after being in school this long. BUT..... where I live, kids go free in YOUR county. If you live in one county, but send your child to school in another county, they have the right to charge you tuition because you do not pay taxes in that county. I would try to talk to the school super and explain how the tuition was DROPPED on you out of nowhere, and see if that may sway them. Don't cry. I will have you in my thoughts and prayers.

Eileen - posted on 03/24/2011

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Contact the head of the Pre-K program. Maybe the school lost their status or are getting dropped. I know the lady who is in charge of many things for the GA pre K program and she is very down to earth. Her name has 4 letters in the first and last name. If she doesn't know or can offer good information about the particular school, then maybe she can get you to someone who can. If you don't get her, there should be soneone there who can start a resolution program and help you out. It sounds insane and I thought that GA Lottery Pre K was supposed to be free?!

Beth - posted on 03/24/2011

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I am a prek teacher but ours is not lottery. In TN the PreK programs are funded by the state not the district. Im not sure if thats how it is where you are but I would check before you go to the board. If it is funded by the state you need to talk to someone at your state's ddepartment of ed. That sounds crazy to me though. Good Luck!

Christina - posted on 03/24/2011

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I thought it was a common known fact that if you don't pay school taxes for that school district, you are required to.....but it's not the fact of no child left behind because you were given the option of putting the child in the school of the county that you reside in....no matter how great or how crappy the school is. It sucks, but you are screwed. Just set up the payment plan. Don't fight it, you won't win. It sounds like it would be cheaper to just MOVE to that school district, don't you think? Instead of driving 100 miles a day. That's a lot of stress on a kid being in a car for over 500 miles A WEEK! Personally I think you're crazy and should have just moved in the first place.

Victoria - posted on 03/24/2011

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I'm a little confused. Pre-K is this before kindergarden? I'm not sure how that would effect a child at that age if that is the case, pre-kindergarden is like play group basically. Though it is fun it is not essential you can do much more for your child at home. If I am incorrect please educate me on the Country and school system you're talking about because I'm a little lost. There is so much information missing like what country you're from, what country and area you're taking your child to? What age your child is?



I pay way more for childcare and $30+ a day for pre-school here in Canada. We don't have "free" pre-school, or anything "lottery funded". I feel for your situation to suddenly have a tuition that you weren't expecting thrown in your lap but if you want this for your child you need to buck up and pay or take your child home and teach them yourself.



I had my eldest at home for a long time and found I taught her more by 2 than pre-school. She was just bored there:)

Kevin - posted on 03/24/2011

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My youngest went to a Montessori pre-school, that was free up until two or three years ago and now they charge $7,000 per year (and it certainly isn't worth that). Most pre-schools in New Orleans charge something, and there aren't that many which are part of the public school system. If they sprung this on you in the middle of the year, that's just irresponsible. If you can't afford it, try doing the work at home, but keeping in touch with your child's friends for the socialization. As more states slash budgets, more parents will be picking up the costs for their children's educations.

Tricia - posted on 03/24/2011

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If you like the school figure out a way to pay it. Don't go out to dinner or stay home instead of going out. Make due and figure out a way if you truely like the program. Our child care for a 3 1/2 year old is about $175 a week so overall $1000 is not bad. They are pre-k not in public school yet so it is not like the public school system is making you pay this bill. A payment plan sounds like they are actually trying to help parents which is a good thing. Most pre-k centers don't do that. $1000 is really only $20 a week. I'm sue there is something you can stop buying for $20 a week. Are you working? Perhaps you can pick up some more hours or pick up a part time job. Remember if your happy and like the program figure out a way to make it work. Do what you must to keep your kids there. Sacrifice what you need to and do what's best for them. Good luck.

Silvana - posted on 03/24/2011

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Are you sure they are Lottery funded? They must lost the Funded from the State and know they are trying to get some money. You should call the office of department of Learning and consult about your problem.

Lauren - posted on 03/24/2011

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well i'm not sure where you live but where i am in GA. you are not allowed to have your child in another county school unless there is mental reasons. we cant even send our kids to another school in the county except where you are zoned for. but if it is a lottery funded program then they do not require tuition. unless they lost their funding and if they did i would be looking into why they lost the funding? what they have done wrong. what are they using this money for they are asking from you?

Carla - posted on 03/24/2011

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This situation is unfortunate and I can see why you would be frustrated. I hope someone on the school board can help you work it out so you can complete the school year. However, if one of your main concerns is that your son gets to graduate, you can always have a graduation for him with your family and friends so that he feels like he did a good job and completed it! Even if the year isn't over! If he is done with that school, then he is done and can still be rewarded for the time he spent there!

Calista - posted on 03/24/2011

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I work as a teacher in the public schools and a lot of things are changing. Are they fair, most of them not and not in the favor of the child. Most places you have to pay to send your child to a public school out of your zoning area. It could be that the rules were always there, but never enforced and now with the money crunch they're enforcing them.

Danielle - posted on 03/24/2011

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No child can be kicked out of school! Id be calling the Department of Education and complaining. Its every childs right to have an education and they cant descriminate against families that cant pay fees.

Sommer - posted on 03/24/2011

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It definitely sounds like you are being taken advantage of with them suddenly demanding payment...even if it does include a payment plan, since it wasn't mentioned at the beginning of the school year. However I will say that when my daughter went to preschool we paid $800 a month. I was working part-time and even with the money I made we had to dip into my husband's paycheck to pay for it. I eventually pulled her out because we just couldn't afford it anymore, and I then had to quit my job. Of course that is in California where prices for everything seem very high to me, coming from Kansas. If you are happy with the school, I would say you should keep him in if you can afford it. I would have loved to be able to keep her in preschool but it was just too much money, so I know about that. We supplemented with a lot of playgroups and learning experiences outside of the house since I was staying home with her. I hope you can figure something out and you don't end up owing money since you were not notified earlier.

[deleted account]

I find it laughable people are telling her to consult a lawyer, if she cant afford the tuition, what makes you think she can afford a lawyer? Lawyers will do a consultation for free, but will charge you money for each phone call conversation, paperwork, meeting, and court appearance.

Krista - posted on 03/24/2011

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i understand i pay for my daughters education. they should not be able to do that.. i pay alot more for my daughter to go 4 days a week. i refuse to put my daughter in public school.. they are failing out children.. i say as a lawyer or find away to pay it. i had to put alot on hold for 2 yrs i don't have a car right now because i wanted the best for my daughter. now she will be going to kindergarden and payments will be almost none.. thank god.. my husban is from australia and the school system there is 100 times better they really know how to make children succeed in life.. i really hope someone can help you or tries and work something out that is just horrible to do to a child..

Christy - posted on 03/24/2011

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Go to the up the board, and get some answers that you need. Don't stop until you get them.

Beth - posted on 03/24/2011

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Sorry, you decided to take your son to another county to school, where you did not elect the officials who make the rules regarding education.Perhaps instead of abandoning your own county and the school system there, you should work to make the schools in your are better, or if you don't like these schools, pack up and move. Otherwise, pay up!!!

Bobbi - posted on 03/24/2011

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a hundred miles a day for pre-K? what you spend in gas you could spend on tuition somewhere closer....maybe a private school?

Kristi - posted on 03/24/2011

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Dear B.J.,
I am so sorry you are dealing with this! What a headache and heartache for all of you. I don't think that the school district is allowed to ask you to retroactively pay for the whole year that you have already been there. It's possible that now due to budget cuts this might be the case for next year, and pre-k is considered daycare in public schools, because it isn't mandatory. I'm amazed you receive it for free to start with unless you are in a qualifying headstart program based on your family's income, which would be great. Kindergarten is also not mandatory in many states, and a lot of districts short on funding ask parents to pay for it, especially for full-day kindergarten. It's not very new, at least around here to pay for school for early childhood classes. I think you have a good argument with the district that you will not have to pay for the past part of the year that you have attended. In fact, if they press, I would go to court. Contact your superintendent and see if they can make an exception so that your child can finish out the year. If it's really important, take them up on their offer to put together a payment plan for the remainder of the year, but I would stand strong on the previous months. Good luck! I would urge you also to check out private schools closer to home. Many, many schools offer great tuition adjustment for families that qualify. It's harder for early childhood, but it's out there.

Michele - posted on 03/24/2011

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first of all what county are your kids in school at and is this a public school or charter school? If charter...they pretty much can do what they want...within limits. If public there is no way they are allowed to do that! Pre-k unfortunately is not a state requirement so again you play by their rules. Kindergarten, in many places, if full day, parents have to pay for it but not for part time. so I don't think I have helped you much but I do feel for you! It sucks that they would do that to a kid and after all this time not allow him/her to graduate/celebrate!

Becky - posted on 03/24/2011

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The fact that you have been allowed to attend an out of county school for no fee is surprising. Students are usually required to attend school in their home county or school district unless there are other circumstances. The required tuition could be due to the fact that school districts around the country are having their budgets cut and they need to make it up somehow. Decreasing his days to only four days/week is going to help the county or school regain some of its funding because they won't have to provide food for those students, electricity, materials, etc. As far as No Child Left Behind, that has to do with testing, not having students attend school outside of their home county. Being a teacher, I understand why they may be doing this, I don't agree with it, but I understand it. The government feels that because every other institution has taken a hit because of the economy, it is now education's turn. What they don't realize or don't care about it the fact that their "brilliant" idea is going to hurt the students most.

Katty - posted on 03/24/2011

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Hi i dont know ur schooling over there as i live in Australia and here u have to pay for all schooling weather its public or private my son is in Kindy and its $50 a term when he goes to school as im on a low income he will get school card which less the fees but i still will have to pay theres no free schooling at all so i think u should pay up and they did say they can work out a payment plan with u or take him out 4 rest of yr then take him back when u dont have to pay which u r very lucky as to not have to pay for schooling here in australia we dont have pre K they start kindy one day a week the term before they turn 4 then full time kindy when 4 and we have childcare places but u have pay for that to i sent my son one day week since he was one and it was $45 a day but i only paid $19 a day on low income

Kylene - posted on 03/24/2011

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I am so sorry! That is just crazy!! I dont have any advice or help but wanted to share that I am sorry and I hope you can get it figured out.

Alfreda - posted on 03/24/2011

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If I had to drive my kids 100 a day for a better school ~ I would move. My child went to state run preschool, public schools ( one of the lowest scoring schools in the district) but he is still an honor student. the problem with many parents is they expect the schools to do all the work and not take any responsibility for setting the foundation of learning at home.

Patricia - posted on 03/24/2011

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you had to fill out forms to get your child into this school. while doing so, did you see anything that said there was no charge? there was no mention of tuition? when talking to school personnel did they not mention anything at all? didn't say anything to you about payment? usually, payment is expected up front or payment arrangements are made with you.

Melissa - posted on 03/24/2011

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It may depend on what state you are in, but in Florida, schools, even private ones, are NOT allowed to charge for VPK (voluntary Pre-Kindergarten). They can ask for a supplies fee, but you are not required to pay it. Check with the school board because here, it is paid for by the government, although I am not sure if it is state dollars or federal dollars. Go to the School Board's website, and if you cannot find it there, call them. There should be a contact specifically for the Pre-Kindergarten program. Good Luck!

[deleted account]

I think it is really silly to travel that far for any school - it can't be good for either of you to spend that much time in the car every day.



However, I'm glad the situation worked out in the end.

Tessa - posted on 03/24/2011

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Glad to hear it all worked out for you and your children...sounds like you did your homework...sorry I didn't see that the issue had been resolved prior to posting my earlier comment today. :)

Christa - posted on 03/24/2011

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I don't see the issue if you're given notice and told that you could work out a payment plan? Them telling you IS the notice. Are you in the US? If so, this "suddenness" is probably as a result of the legislation and funding changes that have recently happened. We had 200 teachers+ laid off in one day in our district with "no notice" because the money ran out to pay them!
It doesn't sound like, from your post, that you're being picked on, but that funds for a public service ran out. If the money isn't there, people can't continue to get paid!
I would talk to someone sans emotions, and find out what you can do from your end. And, by the way, for $1000, you could easily enroll him in a 2 day a week MDO program that will still allow him to get prepped for kindergarten if you're unable to find curriculum to do with him at home.

Felicia - posted on 03/24/2011

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you can afford to drive 100 miles a day for school but can't pay these fees. i want my kids at the best school too. i can't afford it. i should not have to pay for your kids. people don't really under the lottery thing. for every dollar the school get from the lottery they get 1 dollar less from state and federal. lottery has not helped our schools in florida.

Tessa - posted on 03/24/2011

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Here is a thought. Perhaps you could write a short letter to the person and/or entity in charge of the pre-k program and let them know that this was not part of the registration information you received when you first enrolled your child in the school, and that you would like them to provide you with written information about this new program as soon as possible. (This makes sense because, for all you know, this "new program" may not be something in which you want your child involved, and if that is the case, then you would be changing your child to a different school anyway!) Then, ask them to please allow your child to continue attending the school until you have had an opportunity to review the information about the new program and to consider the financial commitment. You could also choose to copy the funding organization with your letter...it should be relatively easy to find a person/address via a google search under "pre-k lottery school funding for ________(insert the County in that blank)." Also--have you tried setting up a meeting or phone call with any of the teachers or other parents to make further inquiry? Hope all goes well for you and your children!

Vera - posted on 03/24/2011

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When you say you never paid for tuition, did you know they charged tuition? Or was this something they started in the middle of the school-term? I wouldn't think they could charge you anything without it being posted and agreed to in the enrollment contract. If the tuition fee was implemented mid-term, and you didn't know about it, I would think your son would be "grandfathered' in for the remainder of the year with no tuition due.

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