Parents voice concerns on Pre-K consolidation

By Yvette Yeon - bio | email

RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) - The Richmond School Board is just days away from a major vote that would consolidate five preschools into one.

Five preschools in Richmond will end up attending Maymont Elementary. School officials have said budget issues have led to this proposal to consolidate, saying it'll save the schools over $600,000, but parents aren't convinced the plan is ready for a vote.

"There's not information to support your vote on June 7," said a concerned parent, Megan Pollard.

"I think the proposal is a good idea but the only thing I don't think is a good idea, is the child will be divided in schools," said another parent.

"If this was being done in a business, if I was a manager and someone brought this to me, I would throw it back at him and tell him to put down the crayons and to do it correctly," said another speaker during the hearing.

Almost everyone agreed the idea to dedicate a preschool is good; the objection was there is just too many questions and not enough answers for a pass, no pass vote on such a big change. At an open tour, parents were skeptical.

"I think this has been proposed much to quickly, I don't think they can execute this in the way that it should be, I just see too many snags in this for it to work in two months," said concerned parent, Margaret Ozierski.

"The problem is we can only afford one car, so the transportation issue is not solved, and my biggest problem is I have yet seen a cost benefit analysis." said concerned parent, Oliver Speck.

But other parents said they are ready to put faith in the superintendent's proposal and want see the change in effect next school year.

"Your children are being specifically paid attention to, so when children develop any type of need, they can be address while they're young that way they can succeed when they get older," said Tammie Lett-Chalmers.

"I'm excited, because what this means is we're developing a true child learning center, and we're moving away from the daycare concept, and we're really pushing forward the curriculum to the maximum," said Laura Bonner.

The school board is expected to vote on the proposal at their June 7 meeting.

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