CHARLOTTE, NC -- Bright Beginnings, a pre-kindergarten program aimed at ensuring disadvantaged 4-year-olds are prepared for kindergarten could see a huge chunk of its funding cut. The Charlotte-Mecklenburg School Board plans to vote on whether to cut $10.4 million dollars from the program's budget.
"I would have to pay for daycare, or something of that nature," explained Aquetta Hollis, whose son attends Bright Beginnings. "[The program] is very important."
The district is dealing with a $100 million deficit for the upcoming school year. CMS Superintendent Dr. Peter Gorman has suggested cutting funding to the program as a way to offset the deficit. The original vote was set for Jan. 25, but that was postponed after an outpouring of concern from the community. Board president Eric Davis says there is a possibility of the vote being postponed once again.
"That's what we'll discuss tonight," said Davis.
"I think what's really important is the issue is broader than one program. We're trying to not only save one program that's particularly beneficial to children in this community; we're trying to save an entire school system."
If the Bright Beginnings program is cut, about 105 teacher and assistants would be cut, as well as principals and other staff at the programs.