Governor Nathan Deal has changed the plan to cut Pre-K hours from full-time to part-time, however, opponents of the original plan are still not completely happy. The governor announced on Monday a new plan to save money for the HOPE program that will see prekindergarten classes remain at full time but the calender year will be shortened from 180 to 160 days. The new plan would still expand pre-k enrollment, but by 2,000, not 5,000 students as first proposed.
In addition to shortening the calendar year teachers will see a pay cut but the salary drop will be 10 percent, not the 30 percent that would have come with Deal’s original plan.
Two weeks ago Governor Deal proposed sweeping changes to the popular pre-k and HOPE programs, which include smaller scholarships for all except students who graduate with a 3.7 or higher GPA and a 1200 SAT score. The measure appears to be headed for a vote before the full Senate this week despite several rallies that have been held on the steps of the state capital to protest the proposed cuts.
Governor Deal is being commended for listening to the concerns of thousands of parents, providers and teachers like Menesha Beckham who asked that Georgia pre-k not be scaled back .