26 answers

Denied Attending Pre-k

I have a three year old daughter who will be four in May, she will be attending kindergarten in the school year of 2008-2009. We live in Plano, they had there pre-registration yesterday and I took my daughter. We went throught the whole deal filling in all the paper waiting in line and everything. Come to find out we had to qualify bbased on our in come. My husband is a firefighter/paramedic for the city of Richardson, and I am a stay at home mom of four children. When it was my turn to "check out" they told me we qualified and she starts school on Aug 27. I am excitied because I didn't think we will qualify. So I am getting her all ready for school telling her what she is going to be doing and stuff, then the phone rings. It is PISD calling me and telling me we make to much money and if I want her to go to this school I will have to pay a total of $2600 within a 10 month period. Now I am not against anyone or anything, but I feel I am being discriminated against. If I spoke a different language in my house other than English my daughter could go free, if she had a learning disability she could go for free. So I am a little upset. I feel if they are going to go based on income with some people they should go on it across the board right regardless of what language you speak. I guess what I am wanting here is to know if any of you guys ran into this problem, and if you got around it somehow.

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Ok so I guess I hit a hot spot. Just to inform you a little more of what is going on in this middle class household. I have two step children and two of my own. My two older kids are in regular plano schooling and to let everyone know they are both in resources because the wonderful PISD has labeled them as having a learning disability. I tried to get my 8 year old son in pre-k when we first moved here to Plano by speech and learning disability!!!!!They denied him why I don't know. Now I go to these wonderful ARD meetings and they ask my R. how come you didn't send him to Pre K I said well you denied him. but now he is in speech, resources and he is on a reading level of a kindergartener. So yet I have two children who are labeled as disable so for you few who said to stop whinning and be grateful I am but, I have been let down by this system before. My daughter is very intelligent and we work with her at home she knows all her colors and count to 20 and knows her ABC's she even knows some Spanish (colors, numbers and some words) But SHe lacks the child interaction and she can be aggresive some time, I was wanting her to be use to being around kids her own age. All I am saying is just because I am not able to speak a different language that this city doesn't recognize then my daughter should be punished. (I do speak a different language I speak Hebrew b/c I am Jewish) My husband is a very devoted father and he works his butt off by taking others emergency calls and saving lives. We barley make it with his income and for those who say that the kids who can't speak english should get a break well I agree they should but so should us who are struggling also. I asked the school if there is a schoolarship or financial aid or something like that... they don't b/c they don't have the funds to provide it..... Then how can we afford to let people go for free?????
I pay Taxes just like my neighbors why can't I get a break with this. I guess I will find out b/c I going to the school board with this problem. I am not against any race, religion or class, I just feel we should be able to have the same oppurtunies as everyone no matter what I make or what languauge I speak or if johnny is smarter than sally. So I apologize now if I upseted anyone but before you go screaming and saying I am thinking wrong just find out the whole story.

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Pre-k is not mandatory in the state of Texas. It is for low income families because it is believed that they have a lower chance at a good education. They want them to be at the same level of education as child that comes from a wealthy family once the children are in Kindergarten. When I was a single mother, I qualified for Pre-K. My child attended for the first half of the year. Then I remarried and all of the sudden I had to pay $250 a month. I did not think that it was fair. My husband has a good job, but once you add up all the expenses, it doesn't leave room for much. Just the same I do not think it is fair that children of lower income families are classified as "needing more education" than other children of wealthier families. I have always thought my kids to be very smart. I am of Mexican orgin. Well, instead of getting upset about it, I have made the most out of my situation. I bought some programs off line and at the stores. I am teaching my daughter at home everyday. She likes it and tells others that she has school at home and mommy is her teacher. I get to see her progress everyday and it is great to be a part of her learning. We completed her Pre-K programs and now I am teaching her Kindergarten so she can be ready and ahead of the other kids once she starts Kindergarten.

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Hi, R.. I wondered if you recovered from some of the comments yet. I understand where you are coming from. I feel that if the program is going to be offered to some children for free, then all children in that age range should be able to attend. We do pay plenty of tax dollars for the schools to hire a few more Pre-K teachers, right? It's not a matter of parents wanting free child care. It's parents caring about their children's education. The "whinning" comment was unnecessary. This website is supposed to be helpful, not hurtful. You are simply a parent feeling discriminated against and you have the right to voice your opinion. Sorry for those who made nasty comments. I think you are absolutley right to be upset. Best of Luck!

1 mom found this helpful

Pre-k is not mandatory in the state of Texas. It is for low income families because it is believed that they have a lower chance at a good education. They want them to be at the same level of education as child that comes from a wealthy family once the children are in Kindergarten. When I was a single mother, I qualified for Pre-K. My child attended for the first half of the year. Then I remarried and all of the sudden I had to pay $250 a month. I did not think that it was fair. My husband has a good job, but once you add up all the expenses, it doesn't leave room for much. Just the same I do not think it is fair that children of lower income families are classified as "needing more education" than other children of wealthier families. I have always thought my kids to be very smart. I am of Mexican orgin. Well, instead of getting upset about it, I have made the most out of my situation. I bought some programs off line and at the stores. I am teaching my daughter at home everyday. She likes it and tells others that she has school at home and mommy is her teacher. I get to see her progress everyday and it is great to be a part of her learning. We completed her Pre-K programs and now I am teaching her Kindergarten so she can be ready and ahead of the other kids once she starts Kindergarten.

R.:

I'm sorry that you rec'd such judgemental replies to your post ; ( Sometimes it seems that people don't read the whole post and just start firing off their opinions without asking more questions. I'd like to believe that this forum is place where we can safely share our thoughts, seek advice, give advice, etc. but I've noticed more and more reflex responses like the ones you had.
I understand where you're coming from and I'll be interested in hearing what happens when you meet with the board.
I'd be dissapointed too if they told me everything was all set and I had already discussed the new situation w/ my child.
Hang in there!

S.

Hmmm, I just wanted to debunk your belief! In my household, we are bilingual! My husband is from Colombia, and I am from here. My son has ADHD, a disablity. We live in Plano and still had to pay for pre-school. It is a non-issue. I understand you may be upset, but you should not judge! The rules are the rules, and you have to follow them regardless of the color of your skin or the language you speak! Have you ever noticed that people who are racist always begin derogatory comments with, "I am not racist, but.....". Just something to think about.....Good luck with your issue.

I am with Sara on this one ... be grateful for what you have, and pay for pre-school if it is necessary for your child to attend.

I also agree that we should allow these privledges to those that are less fortunate. It is not discrimination ... it is showing compassion, and knowing that it is about ALL kids, not just our own. They're ALL our future.

To be honest, I would have never expected for pre-school to be free for middle class families.

Since you are a sahm why not Home School. they will get a much better education, and you can still have them interact with others. They will learn more than they do in public school. In the last 4yrs I have homeschooled my son and my daughter graduated from homeschooling 8yrs ago. There is a wealth of info out there and since you are home anyway how wonderful it would be to teach your own kids and know what they are learning instead of haveing to cram for the TAKS tests and such. just a thought. I never knew you had to qualify for pre-k thats sad. oh and my son is in High school now and it's going good, he's learning more than he would in public school.

Hi R....
I do not want to deny your frustration in any way, I just want you to understand that it is not all PISD's fault. I have worked in PISD for the last 9 years as a bilingual and ESL (English as a second language) teacher. The reason that it is free for some and not others is a funding problem. Students that speak other languages or have special needs recieve extra funds both from the state and federal resources. PISD looses millions to "R. Hood" every year. What we really need to do is write to our legislators. Not that any of this helps, I just hope it gives you a bigger picture of what is happening. I remember feeling the same frustration for myself when I was trying to find college scholarships!

R.,
I am surprised at the kind of responses you received. I would assume most of these people do not live on the East side of Plano. I have had kids in the Plano schools for the last 9 years. My daughter now attends kindergarten when my 14 year old went. The school has gone down hill. You can complain and talk to the school officials and board until you are blue in the face, but Plano money is NOT allocated evenly. West, Murphy then East. In fact my daughters school has more programs and benefits for the non English speaking kids, then the English speaking ones. Even the teacher/student ratio differs.

With the preschool, non English children and children with disabilites do go for free. Though that ratio is surprising as well. Most non paying students are non English speaking, at least here where I live. Plus they get free transportation. If you pay for them to go, you have to provide transporation.

My son is with ITIP going through speech. WE will have to go through interviewing and testing to see if he can go through speech with the school system starting in August since he will be 3. Our current speech teacher told me that qualifing for speech through preschool in Plano is alot harder then it is in some of the other area. Even though if he qualifies it would be free, I am still looking into other options.

I honestly would recommend looking into some other preschools in the area. They actually have better hours and are alot cheaper then the PISD program. There are several in Plano that are great. I would look into them now so you can go and tour the school while they are open and compare them.

As for your feelings on the income quidelines across the board, I completely agree with you. We struggle to raise a family of 6 on one income and it is not easy, not at all. We do end up seeig kids who eat free lunch and their parents drive nice new cars that are priced way over our heads. Then again, maybe it's just that we try to live within our means.

Hang inthere and don't let the negative responses get to you. Do what is best for your family. I do highly recommend you look into some other programs. There are some pricey and non pricey preschools. Check them all out.

Good luck.

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