City families should have the same preschool opportunities
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I am bringing this to the attention of the Post-Gazette in the hope of raising awareness about some changes within the Pittsburgh Public Schools.
My husband and I are city residents, homeowners, taxpayers and working full-time parents. Recently, we submitted an application for our daughter to attend preschool in the Pittsburgh Public Schools. Upon learning that our daughter had been put on a waiting list, and after a telephone call to the Early Childhood Education Office, we were told that if a room were to open up before the start of the 2012-2013 school year and if we were still choosing to send our daughter to preschool, our family would have to pay tuition at the rate of $650 per month because our family is so many percentage points above what the school board calculated to be the "poverty level," while children in families below the "poverty level" will get to attend preschool tuition-free. As a city resident, homeowner and taxpayer, this certainly is not fair to our family or any of the other families in the school district in the same or similar situation.
Education today is more advanced than it was 10 or 20 years ago. It is necessary for our children to get a good education that starts with preschool. Children need the opportunity to go to preschool to be ready for kindergarten. To ask our family and families like ours to pay tuition when we already pay school taxes is just downright unfair and absurd. If we wanted to pay tuition for preschool, we would send our daughter to a private preschool.
It's no wonder people are moving out of the city of Pittsburgh. If we were in the position to move out of the city, we would do it in a heartbeat.
First Published June 27, 2012 12:00 am