by Coy Holcombe.
EISD offers a full day pre-k program for 4 year olds. We have offered this full day program for several years now. The reason that I emphasize "full-day" is that the state only provides funding for half-day pre-k programs. In other words, let’s say that we had an ADA of 50 in our pre-k program for the year. We would receive state funding on half of this amount, or 25 ADA (there are other considerations given by the state that might impact the overall pre-k ADA, but this is generally how it is calculated). The reason that we are able to offer a full-day pre-k program is that we receive a pre-k grant that funds the other half of the day.
For several years now, EISD has received this pre-k grant. For the 08-09 school year, we will receive about $100,000 from this grant. All of these funds go toward paying the salaries of the pre-k teachers. In the past, once you have qualified for this grant, a district would automatically be renewed to receive this grant in subsequent years (assuming that the district is meeting all the requirements of the grant).
Currently, the state is proposing changing the conditions of this pre-k grant. Tomorrow, new guidelines will be released on the rewarding of this grant. One of the changes might be that schools that are currently receiving this grant no longer automatically qualify for receiving it the next year. If this is the case, and the grant becomes a competitive grant, it will depend on the criteria set forth in the grant on whether EISD can continue to receive this funding.
We are going to closely monitor the release of the information concerning the new pre-k grant program. Further entries will be devoted to this information. While EISD may be impacted by changes in the grant program, it is far too early to tell what this impact will be.