Two pre-kindergarten programs could merge: Some area teachers unhappy

Posted by Debra Worley - email

WILMINGTON, NC (WECT) - Some teachers are not happy about the possibility of merging two education programs and went to Raleigh to voice their concerns.

If approved, Bill 539 would combine the "More at 4" program with "Smart Start."

The "More at 4" program helps at risk 4-year-olds by improving their language and reading skills, where as the "Smart Start" program provides assistance for families with pre-schoolers.

Some say "More at 4" won't be as effective if the two programs merge.

"The proposed merger with Smart Start would in effect put More at Four under the division of childcare, under the division of child development which is really in this state the regulatory agency for childcare," said Director Diane Emerson.  "We are schools. We educate children. We don't babysit them."

The bill was introduced to lawmakers last week.

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