Preschool on again in Kalamazoo

KALAMAZOO, Mich. - Nervous about funding, Kalamazoo Public Schools will move ahead with preschool this fall, but may suspend it midyear if state money is eliminated, according to The Kalamazoo Gazette.

The district put its Prekindergarten Early Education Program on hold after the state Senate proposed cutting funding for the Michigan Great Start Readiness Program as part of budget negotiations, The Gazette reported. Kalamazoo gets about $1.1 million from that fund to pay for preschool for low-income or at-risk children.

Superintendent Michael Rice says the program will proceed, but could be eliminated later if state funding is "severely curtailed or eliminated," according to The Gazette. Rice said he hopes that state legislators will recognize the value of preschool and that he was encouraged by the "drumbeat of support" heard throughout the state for the program, The Gazette reported.

The Kalamazoo Gazette, "KPS preschool to resume," Aug. 14, 2009

Michigan Education Report, "Don't expect long-term gain from early education money," Aug. 15, 2007