LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) – Some parents will have to look for other preschool options. The Jefferson County Public Schools will be closing half of its tuition-based pre-schools in the fall of 2010.
Officials decided to end tuition-based preschool at Chancey, Jeffersontown, Middletown, Smyrna, Wellington and Zachary Taylor Elementary schools, as well as at Waggener High School, because of declining enrollment and insufficient revenue from tuition. Enrollment fell from more than 480 students last year to just around 300 this year.
"It was really hard decision," said Harriet Thomas, director of early childhood for the district. "We really didn't want to close them. Last year we lost over $280,000."
Thomas says the closings are just another sign of the times. People can't afford to spend the $140 it takes a week to send their children to tuition-based preschool.
"Districts and educational organization are hurt just like people in their personal finances are," said Thomas.
Chancey, Smyrna, and Waggener will be converted to state funded preschools for low income students this fall.
"The economic times are hard and with raising the tuition and with some we might have priced ourselves out of the market for those parents," said Thomas.
Teachers and instructional assistants will be reassigned to other schools. The district will continue to offer tuition-based preschool at seven elementary schools - Brandeis, Farmer, Field, Norton, Stopher, Tully and Wilder - because those schools have been able to maintain full enrollment.
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