Rural School Districts Face Trouble Keeping Preschools Open

2 years 2 days 19 hours ago May 03, 2014 May 3, 2014 Saturday, May 03 2014 Saturday, May 03, 2014 11:22:00 AM CDT in News
By: Nichole Cartmell, KOMU 8 Reporter

NEW BLOOMFIELD - This school year, administrators at New Bloomfield R-III School District faced a major dilemma — cut its preschool program because lack of state funding or find other means to keep it running.

New Bloomfield has funded its program with the state-run Missouri Preschool Project grant for the last 10 years. In 2013, lawmakers decided they would begin phasing out the grants for long-term recipients.

According to New Bloomfield Superintendent David Tramel, that left his district scrambling to find other ways to fund its program.

"We've made adjustments with budget cuts, budget reductions here and there. We increased the daily rate we charge parents ... but it is very challenging to maintain the program with the reduced funds we are receiving," Tramel said.

This year, the district saw state funding for its preschool program decrease by more than $20,000. Money from the state-run Missouri Preschool Project declined from $90,000 five years ago to $42,500 this year. Next year, the district is set to receive $21,500.

"What do you keep? Do you keep this program, do you keep this program at the cost of this program at the cost of this teacher? It's very very difficult," school board president Gracia Baker said.

However, parents and most school board members agreed, cutting the program wasn't an option.

"I think it is very important in our community to continue the early-learning childhood program ... My children benefited from attending this preschool program. By the completion of the second year of preschool they knew their alphabet, their sounds and their numbers," Jenny Goodman said, a parent of a student currently enrolled in the preschool program.

The New Bloomfield school board will step up next year to fund the program and will no longer participate in the Missouri Preschool Project. That means the district won't face the same rules set out in the grant program. The district will no longer employ a licensed preschool teacher full-time for 12 months. Instead, a licensed teacher will run the program for nine months, and during the three month summer vacation a non-certified teacher will take over the classroom. The program will remain accredited.

Other rural school districts are facing similar problems. Next year, Pilot Grove C-4 would've only received $18,000 from the Missouri Preschool Project. The district decided it would keep the program running with district funds. Holliday C-2 had to close the doors on its program because the Missouri Preschool Project grant was the only way it could operate its preschool.

According to Tramel, the problem for rural school districts is that half of their budgets come from local funding. Because of low tax bases and small populations, rural districts have a hard time raising any extra money. 

Tramel said he wishes the district received more state funds, especially for preschool programs.

More News

Grid
List
JEFFERSON CITY (AP) — The Missouri House has passed a bill with a number of provisions aimed at expanding access... More >>
47 seconds ago May 05, 2016 May 5, 2016 Thursday, May 05 2016 Thursday, May 05, 2016 6:48:43 PM CDT in News
JEFFERSON CITY (AP) — A measure aimed at helping ride-hailing companies such as Uber and Lyft expand in Missouri... More >>
1 hour ago May 05, 2016 May 5, 2016 Thursday, May 05 2016 Thursday, May 05, 2016 5:20:33 PM CDT in News
HAMILTON (AP) — A grain-handling operation is being planned in Caldwell County. The project is a joint venture... More >>
1 hour ago May 05, 2016 May 5, 2016 Thursday, May 05 2016 Thursday, May 05, 2016 5:09:00 PM CDT in News
ROLLA (AP) — A Missouri man has been sentenced to life in prison without parole for killing a man sleeping... More >>
1 hour ago May 05, 2016 May 5, 2016 Thursday, May 05 2016 Thursday, May 05, 2016 5:03:00 PM CDT in News
COLUMBIA (AP) — A new job description for the next University of Missouri System president says that whoever enters the... More >>
1 hour ago May 05, 2016 May 5, 2016 Thursday, May 05 2016 Thursday, May 05, 2016 4:56:00 PM CDT in News
COLUMBIA - Patrick Totten has been making memories in Columbia for almost three decades. He lived in Columbia since... More >>
2 hours ago May 05, 2016 May 5, 2016 Thursday, May 05 2016 Thursday, May 05, 2016 4:34:00 PM CDT in News
CLAYTON (AP) — A bank robber who left a trail of cash as he ran from the scene of the... More >>
2 hours ago May 05, 2016 May 5, 2016 Thursday, May 05 2016 Thursday, May 05, 2016 4:31:04 PM CDT in News
JEFFERSON CITY — The Missouri Legislature has authorized nearly $1 billion for maintaining state property and constructing new buildings. ... More >>
2 hours ago May 05, 2016 May 5, 2016 Thursday, May 05 2016 Thursday, May 05, 2016 4:28:01 PM CDT in News
JEFFERSON CITY - A Jefferson City Correctional Center offender pleaded guilty Thursday to assaulting a female correctional officer. Joshua... More >>
2 hours ago May 05, 2016 May 5, 2016 Thursday, May 05 2016 Thursday, May 05, 2016 4:22:00 PM CDT in News
JEFFERSON CITY - Dozens gathered at the Capitol to support reproductive and preventive health services. The group gave a... More >>
2 hours ago May 05, 2016 May 5, 2016 Thursday, May 05 2016 Thursday, May 05, 2016 4:21:00 PM CDT in News
MEXICO - A Mexico resident won a top prize of $30,000 off Missouri Lottery Scratchers Tuesday. Jacqueline Duckworth bought... More >>
2 hours ago May 05, 2016 May 5, 2016 Thursday, May 05 2016 Thursday, May 05, 2016 4:01:00 PM CDT in News
CAMDEN COUNTY - Three men were arrested by the Camden County Sheriff's Office, accusing them of lacing Sour Patch Kids... More >>
3 hours ago May 05, 2016 May 5, 2016 Thursday, May 05 2016 Thursday, May 05, 2016 3:41:00 PM CDT in Top Stories
BOONVILLE - Sheriffs arrested three Boonville residents after multiple law enforcement agencies conducted a narcotics search early Thursday morning. ... More >>
4 hours ago May 05, 2016 May 5, 2016 Thursday, May 05 2016 Thursday, May 05, 2016 2:49:00 PM CDT in News
JEFFERSON CITY - Any licensed educator in Missouri may soon have the option to complete annual training in youth suicide... More >>
4 hours ago May 05, 2016 May 5, 2016 Thursday, May 05 2016 Thursday, May 05, 2016 2:30:00 PM CDT in News
JEFFERSON CITY — The Missouri House has passed a controversial "personhood" measure opponents say could ban abortion, including in cases... More >>
4 hours ago May 05, 2016 May 5, 2016 Thursday, May 05 2016 Thursday, May 05, 2016 2:27:46 PM CDT in News
JEFFERSON CITY (AP) — The Missouri House has voted to override Gov. Jay Nixon's veto of a proposal to rein... More >>
4 hours ago May 05, 2016 May 5, 2016 Thursday, May 05 2016 Thursday, May 05, 2016 2:14:45 PM CDT in News
KANSAS CITY (AP) — A Jewish human rights group alleges the University of Missouri is "missing in action" when it... More >>
4 hours ago May 05, 2016 May 5, 2016 Thursday, May 05 2016 Thursday, May 05, 2016 2:07:10 PM CDT in News
MACK'S CREEK (AP) — Authorities said a body found in southwest Missouri is that of a man who had been... More >>
4 hours ago May 05, 2016 May 5, 2016 Thursday, May 05 2016 Thursday, May 05, 2016 1:51:00 PM CDT in News
Columbia, MO
Broken Clouds 68°
7pm 68°
8pm 64°
9pm 59°
10pm 55°

Select a station to view its upcoming schedule:

Coming Up Next

6:30p
Wheel of Fortune
7:00p
Strong
8:00p
The Blacklist
6:30p
Family Guy
7:00p
DC's Legends of Tomorrow
8:00p
The 100

Tonight's Schedule

7:00p
Strong
8:00p
The Blacklist
9:01p
Game of Silence
7:00p
DC's Legends of Tomorrow
8:00p
The 100
9:00p
KOMU 8 News @ Nine on The CW
9:30p
Seinfeld