-- Valdosta, Ga. -- January 17, 2013 --
Georgia's kids are doing better than their national peers in math, language and nearly every other category thanks to the pre-kindergarten program. That's what a new study conducted by the University of North Carolina says. But in 2011 the state cut the pre-k school year from 180 days to 160. Pre-k teachers also saw a 10 percent pay cut.
Suzanne Tanner is the principal at Westside Elementary School. She said "due to financial reasons they needed to make a full salary. They were not able to take a financial cut in their salary so they asked to come out of pre-k and to fill any slots that we had open in K through five so we feel like we lost a lot of veteran teachers."
Ginger Taylor is a Pre-K teacher at Westside Elementary. She said "so many people were so qualified and loved teaching pre-k and then they had to leave and it's just sad."
In total there have been more than a million kids to have gone through the pre-k program in Georgia in the last 20 years.
Governor Deal has announced plans try and reinstate Georgia's pre-k program back to a 180-day school year. It could happen as soon as the next academic year.