Pre-K teachers may lose hope under Governor's Deal - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Pre-K teachers may lose hope under Governor's Deal

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Governor Nathan Deal's effort to save the hope scholarship has Pre-K teachers losing hope. The legislation would cut six hour days down to just four for students.

That would cost some teachers thousands of dollars a year.  Normally teachers have eight hour days but that would change to just five.

Some in favor of the bill say they have to cut something in order to keep Hope Scholarship. But teachers feel like education is always the first on lawmakers list to get the ax.

Most Pre-K teachers aren't in it just for the money. "I love being with kids. I love to see their face; when they can finally recognize their name," said Dawn Starling. 

"Teachers that are used to getting paid $40,000 a year will  take a 15,000 cut. Most teachers can't afford it; because they have bills and kids," said Rebecca Nutt.

Starling and Nutt teach Pre-K in Turner County. And losing those two hours of class time will affect their pocketbooks.

"My husband and I have talked about selling our house and renting. We've talked about getting rid of cable and cell phones," said Rebecca Nutt.

"My husband mentioned I might  have to find a part-time job after school is over," said Starling. 

Teachers feel like this is just another attack on education. "It's nice to know that Mars has water. But it's not benefiting us here. Let's put that money back into education," said Starling.

"If it goes from a six to four; I'll have to find someone to pick my son up or he might have to stay with me all day," said Nutt. 

By the time kids get to kindergarten; they're expected to already know shapes, colors, and social skills. "Pre-K teaches all that. We teach fundamentals, ABC's just about anything you can imagine," said Starling. 

"So if they don't get the full day, they'll go into KinderGarden not prepared." These students getting cut are our future.

Teachers are planning a protest against a smaller day of school. They're asking everyone to call your local representative and tell them to leave Pre-K education alone. 

Turner Pre-K teachers have made a Facebook page named Protect Georgia's Full Day Pre K program.

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