WTAJ TV: Pre-K programs threaten to close

By Christian Heilman

Huntingdon, Huntingdon County, Pa.

Last week, the house voted down Governor Tom Wolf’s latest proposal mostly on party lines.

This is the longest the state has ever gone without a budget being passed. Thursday, a group of educators are asking lawmakers to come to an agreement

State funded Pre-k programs in Huntingdon County say they’ve borrowed enough money until Thanksgiving. If the budget doesn’t pass, they want Harrisburg to know Pre-K classrooms could close.

You could say Pre-K teacher Kelly Corliss is a lot of things… Including a mediator.

Kelly Corliss, Head Start Teacher, said, “Everybody has different personalities so whenever they come here you have kind of a melting pot.”

She’s been teaching these kids how to share — and excel — before they get to kindergarten.

“Head start is extremely important,” she said. “This is their first school experience for every one of them.”

The time spent in the classroom — and on the playground — could be in jeopardy if a budget doesn’t pass soon. Corliss says it could set her kids back.

Corliss said, “Depending on how long it takes to pass this budget, I”m going to have to start from day one all over again.”

Louise Ketner, Executive Director, said, “We would not take lightly needing to close our doors and we really hope we don’t have to but we can’t continue on.”

About 120 kids could be out of class if there’s no state budget by Thanksgiving. It’s scaring parents whose children rely on these programs.

Danica Coulter, Pre-K Parent, said, “Now what are we supposed to tell them? You can’t go anymore because there’s no money?”

Read the full article here.

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