No Pre-K anytime soon for BASD


Ali Wagner

Students like these kindergarteners from Myers would benefit from a Pre-K program.

Kara Engle, Staff Writer

Did you know that adults who participated in preschool are more likely to have higher paying jobs than those who didn’t? That those who attended preschool make over $20,000 more per year around age forty. Moreover, the kids who attend preschool are less likely to get held back in school.

Dr. Mclnroy said that if B-A could afford it, the district would make it happen.

Despite the benefits of early childhood education, Myers won’t be getting a Pre-K program anytime soon. There have been two times where the school applied for grants  for Pre-K through the Department of Education, but Myers was not successful.

“I can pretty confidently say that as long as it’s not required by the state, we will not be looking at a Pre-K program here in our elementary school,” said Mrs. Harpster, the Myers Elementary School Principal.

Dr. Thomas Mclnory, Bellwood-Antis’s superintendent, agrees with Mrs. Harpster.

“I can’t see that happening anytime soon,” he said.

Area schools with Pre-K programs have their programs funded with state money through Pre-K Counts and Head Start. Pre-K counts targets at-risk communities, while Head Start is awarded based on financial need.

Mrs. Harpster agrees there are many benefits to having a Pre-K program.

“The biggest benefit actually is having those children and their parents in our school,” she said, “where we get to know them prior to the children being in our kindergarten program.”

Dr. Mclnory said there could be a community impact as well, one that is not so positive.

“We could put four businesses out of business.” said Dr. Mclnroy, referring to the daycare providers operating in the district. “We wouldn’t want to do that.”

Mrs. Harpster would like to have a Pre-k program because she says there are many advantages, and no disadvantages as long as you have the space, and having a program here wouldn’t diminish the programs we have for our kindergarten through fourth grade students.

“I think that has to be our first priority for our kindergarten through fourth grade students who are here,” she said.

Dr. Mclnroy said that if B-A could afford it, the district would make it happen.