free taxpayer-subsidized pre-K become a thing of the past in Glen Ridge? The school district dropped a hint of the possibility in the Fall 2004 GRPS Report Card.
Pre-K is not state-mandated, except in Abbott districts, but we have always believed that it is an important part of our educational program. As with other non-mandated programs, we have maintained Pre-K even in the face of greatly reduced state aid. Now, however, our legislators have imposed severe caps on our budget, fund balance (rainy day money) and administrative expenditures. We are also faced with an impending state budget crisis that may cause our state aid to be further reduced.
In our experience, nothing gets uglier than a fight over pre-K. We know a book group that broke up years ago over whether the question of whether working mothers should get priority in getting their kids in the highly coveted a.m. pre-K slots. And rumors, over the years, of the district dropping pre-K seem to divide quite neatly over demographic lines — the demographics being who still has kids in diapers, and who doesn’t.
Our prediction: tantrums are coming. And not just from the 4-year-olds. Please weigh in.