Local News

Wake schools focuses some stimulus funds on pre-K

Posted September 17, 2009

— The Wake County Public School System has $46 million in federal stimulus funds to spend, and Gail Pengelly’s pre-kindergarten class is part of that funding.

Her class at Barwell Road Elementary School is one of 19 new pre-K classes in Wake County schools. The goal is to add a total of 26. Previously, the school system had 12 pre-K classes, which were funded with Title I money.

Barwell Road Elementary is a Title I school, meaning 35 percent or more of its kids are on free and reduced lunch. Title I is a federal program, so Title I schools are getting federal stimulus dollars. Wake County has 45 Title I schools.

Stimulus money also bought each Title I school a math coach. Tamika Bryant is the point person on all things math at Barwell. She works with every teacher in the building.

“I sit down with them, go over the curriculum (and) talk about planning the lessons,” Bryant said. “My main responsibility is to the teacher, to make sure they have as much support as they need.”

Federal support for the new positions will be cut off in two years. Pengelly said she hopes the pre-K classes will prove their worth to ensure student success in kindergarten.

Wake County school officials said 75 percent of their stimulus money went to saving or creating jobs for 558 positions including classroom teachers, teacher assistants and instructional support staff. The money will be used over the next two years.

District leaders said they would have liked to use more of that money to hire the 1,500 teachers who were cut in June, but the money came with restrictions. The funds could not be used to save teacher jobs and some money had to be used to create new positions.


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  • fibershark Sep 21, 2009

    Don"t give a dime,there"s not enough money to make any difference.If the teachers could get thousand dollar raise a month most deservre it.Great respect for what they are trying to do,Hats off.But it"s a lost cause,It"s not the teachers.It"s All the little ones going to school whos mommy and daddy don"t belong here to start with,therefore all education suffers.Employment,economy.So don"t give them a dime.The Gov. tiptoed thru the question David C. asked on Illegal Immigration{they would"nt even use the word} they said undocumented.She said hopefully after health care Prez.NOboma would set a guideline for Illegals,did no one tell her she is the Gov. of NC yet? she has the right to defend NC without the Prez.After he rams his plan of Healthcare down everyones throat I don"t think too many people will want him to help with their problems anymore.I know it"s drastic and so sorry the kids are having to suffer but when teachers can"t teach(and it"s to that point, ask a teacher?)Sad Day

  • discowhale Sep 17, 2009

    that's great, your talking about THIS year. In the 6 years my grandson was in the schools here, pre-K thru 4th, he had a good teacher, about every OTHER year. Last year was a bad year, he had a first time, well indoctrinated, defend WCPSS teacher.

    Whenever we had a question about projects, homework, etc., we got a defense of the curriculum from the teacher. No help though. The Principal and her assistants dodged phone calls and were too busy to make appointments to see the boys parents, for 5 months after Christmas. Who is THAT busy?

    Good luck KK, good luck to your child. I'm hopeful, not expectant.

  • time4real Sep 17, 2009

    see how many care? none!

  • time4real Sep 17, 2009

    that is exactly right. in 2 years when the money stops, you, the tax payers get to pay for it or the programs go away. guess what the current school board would say about that? they would support it to the hilt! vote for some change in 3 weeks and maybe you won't get stuck with that bill on top of all the others. vote for more of the same and I hope your property taxes double!

  • thewayitis Sep 17, 2009

    So in two years when the federal funds run out, I guess it will just be added to the NC budget. Either way, the taxpayers get scr*wed. More free daycare for a select few.

  • surfergirl07 Sep 17, 2009

    Wake County's pre-k programs are not necessarily for people "looking for handouts". Many classrooms are for children who have developmental delays, autism, etc. There are very few private specialized pre-k programs available for these children...and the few that are available can cost in excess of $30K per year. Most parents just don't have that kind of money.

    Most parents do not have the specialized training to give these children what they need if they are to have a chance to be a productive member of society.

    Isn't it better to give these children the help that they need in their formative years so that they can learn and grow...and have a chance at what you and I would call a 'normal life' than to not give these children the help they desperately need and see them on a lifetime of public assistance?

  • colliedave Sep 17, 2009

    nothing more than a free babusitting service

  • momeeee Sep 17, 2009

    Amen to buying books! My wife is attempting to teach a high school math class without benefit of textbooks.

    My son is in a HS math class without textbooks! The teacher has to make copies of the work for all the students.

  • taurismo Sep 17, 2009

    And what exactly did two years of pre-k do for your child that you couldn't have done at home, had you taken the time?

  • miketroll3572 Sep 17, 2009

    You deserve the money!

    No.........They don't. Just another waste of taxpayer money.