Funding for New Pre-K Program

STROUDSBURG, MONROE COUNTY (WBRE/WYOU-TV) A local school district is expanding its reach.  Leaders recently got the green light to move forward with a new program that aims to give children the head start they need in life.  Eyewitness News Education Reporter Crystal Cranmore has more.
  There could soon be some toddlers learning right beside 5th, 6th and 7th graders at Stroudsburg Middle School. District leaders hope to use a portion of the building for a new publicly funded pre-kindergarten program.

The Stroudsburg Area School District Board recently approved plans to move forward with the program that will serve children from birth to five years old. They plan to donate part of the school to a third party education provider.

The conversation to bring a public pre-kindergarten to Stroudsburg has been ongoing for the last few years.

 While there are other pre-k programs in the county, including private programs in Stroudsburg, leaders say affordability and access is an issue.

 According to the United Way of Monroe County, about 76 percent of children who qualify for publicly funded pre-k programs are unserved.

 In Stroudsburg, of the estimated 350 children who qualify for public pre-k programs, the nonprofit says only two are being served. District leaders have partnered with the United Way of Monroe County to look for funding to get the program started - without burdening taxpayers. The program itself will be a mixed model, meaning it will need a combination of self-pay, donations and state funding to sustain itself.  


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