ALBANY, GA (WALB) - Dougherty County Pre-K registration is now open, but there are less than 300 available slots.
School district leaders said it could take a year for a student who doesn’t have a preschool education to catch up to one who does.
“She’s ready. She walked into her classroom yesterday and was like 'I’m going to another school, bye you guys, like I’m out of here,” said Kendra Hubbard, a parent in the district.
Hubbard’s four year old daughter, Callie, spent the last year at a preparatory academy getting ready for her upcoming year in preschool. But not every kid will get the same opportunity.
“We have 284 slots. So the quicker you can get in and get registered, the better," said Dr. Gail Solomon, the Pre-K Director.
With around 1,000 eligible students in the district, that leaves around 700 kids without the opportunity of a whole year of free education before they start kindergarten.
“The reading level is the biggest issue. We see they’re not prepared with those basic skills needed to learn how to read," said Solomon.
Teachers will then have to try to catch the students up who didn’t have the chance to go to preschool.
“It takes at least a year to catch them up,” Solomon said.
The Dougherty County School System just can’t afford to enroll any more kids in the program than they already are which is why they need more state or federal funding.
But for now, Hubbard said she’s taking advantage of the program as best she can.
“I think it’s necessary the parents come in and enroll their child to prepare them for the real world," Hubbard said.
The slots will be filled on a first come, first serve basis.
You can register in person at Magnolia Elementary School or online here.