To the Editor:
Fifty years ago children attended half-day kindergarten in Texas. They were prepared for first grade by the end of the year because the parents were primarily responsible for getting them ready.
Over the years, kindergarten became full day, and half-day pre-k was introduced. The same teacher could teach both the morning and the afternoon children.
Sometime in the last 20 years, pre-k was extended to a full day. This was to make sure these children were prepared for the kindergarten curriculum, and to work on their socialization skills since, obviously, this was not happening for many of the children in the home setting.
Changing to full-day pre-k also required an all-day teacher for each classroom, creating a need to hire more teachers.
Now, Killeen ISD has decided to start an all-day, 3-year-old pre-k at the seven schools on Fort Hood.
I am assuming that this is to pre-prepare them for the preparation that happens in the 4-year-old pre-k program, which, in turn grooms them for kindergarten, which is designed to ready them for first grade?
We can only wonder.
It seems to me that this is not very cost-effective: two teachers per campus times $42,000 times seven schools.
Wouldn’t it be a better use of that money to teach the parents how to prepare their children for the world of school?
Work with the parents to show them how to work with their little ones, getting them out from in front of the TV, taking them to the park to learn how to play with others, singing with them, talking to them, READING to them, helping them learn their ABCs and their 1, 2, 3’s.
Think about how much money this would save KISD, how much joy and help it would bring to the children, and knowledge that it would bring to those parents who have been helped in this way.
And, subsequently, the district could use the money saved to assist the KISD employees who were so recently shafted by the unnecessary increase in their insurance costs.
What say you?