Low Income Preschools Cause Dilemmas in Enrollment

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“It made me feel like what do we work hard for, it’s a public school, anyone should be able to go. it doesn't matter what you make every month.” Sheila Morton signed up her 4-year-old daughter at four different public preschools in the area.

“She was put on their waiting list, and then the second school who contacted me and said she was being placed on a waiting list said and I asked why and they told me it was because we weren't a low-income family.” said Morton.

“And family is welcome to apply and could be considered for enrollment, its just that our funding requirements are such that we need to make it a priority for serving those students who are the most economically and academically in need.” said Michael Bond of the Natrona County School District.

Natrona County's 12 public preschools are funded by a combination of title one and temporary assistance for needy families programs.

Which means one-third of the kids enrolled must be from low-income families.

"The earlier we intervene and provide those learning opportunities and language experience for very young children beginning at three and four years old, um they really do stand a much better chance." said Bond.

But Morton feels the approach is discriminatory.

"For us to work as hard as we have to be slapped back down, it’s not OK, it’s unfair, our children are treated equally regardless of the situation or the guidelines that they have for funding and everything.” said Morton.