LUBBOCK, TX (KCBD) - Thursday morning Lubbock ISD School Board members voted to close four of the district's Head Start centers and relocate the programs to 16 elementary schools.
Right now, LISD provides free, all-day pre-kindergarten classes for qualifying students, primarily low-income and non-English speakers, on four campuses: Ballenger, Mahon, Martin and Stubbs. Students are bussed to those campuses from all areas of the city.
The state pays for half of the day. Currently, LISD funds the second half using a state grant of $1.5-million. That grant won't be available to LISD after the 2010-11 school year.
By moving the Head Start programs to elementary schools, the district can cut the number of bus routes and save money. School leaders say a conservative estimate of total savings is $2-million a year. LISD will then use that money to fund the full-day program.
Starting with the 2010-11 school year, the pre-k programs will move these elementary schools: Bayless, Bean, Bozeman, Dupre, Guadalupe, Hardwick, Harwell, Jackson, Maedgen, Overton, Parkway, Parsons, Ramirez, Rush, Smith, and Wheatley.
Existing pre-k teachers will move to the elementary schools in teams of three or more so they can continue to teach as a group. Many of the elementary schools where these programs are moving to will also see an increase in nursing and counseling services.
Nancy Sharp with LISD tells KCBD the plan is to re-purpose the four Head Start centers either by selling or donating them to organizations that can use them. She says if the district cannot sell or donate the buildings, they will most likely demolish them.
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