Preschoolers turned away, not enough room

Michiganâ??s insufficient amount of preschool classrooms has students getting turned away at the door.

Michiganâ??s insufficient number of preschool classrooms has students getting turned away at the door.

Mary Manner is the Great Start Collaborative Coordinator for Antrim, Benzie, Grand Traverse, Kalkaska, Leelanau and Manistee Counties.

Manner tells 7&4 News, in this region alone, there are hundreds of parents trying to fit their children in a preschool classroom.

â??I know we have a waiting list in every county. I was talking with some people at TCAPS in the fall and they told me they have at least 80 kids on a waiting list...even after they opened additional preschool classrooms,â?? Manner said.

To try and fix the problem, Governor Snyderâ??s latest budget proposal set aside more than $40 million for the Great Start Readiness Program

That money can be used to open more preschool classrooms.

â??The idea isâ?¦we get as many kids as possible into the classrooms and give them the opportunity to develop the skills they are going to need when they start kindergarten,â?? said Manner.

While many applaud the Governor's plan, there is some skepticism.

The Michigan Association of School Board argues that early childhood programs should not be funded at the expense of Michiganâ??s older students.

Currently, 62% of the Governor's education budget is set-aside for early childhood programs.