I am writing in response to "First day of LI pre-K push" [News, Sept. 30]. As a recently retired teacher, continuing teachers' union president, taxpayer and grandparent of a second-grader, I have this to say: A basic fact that's not in dispute is that school districts are working under tight fiscal constraints that threaten the education we provide in kindergarten through 12th grade.
Class sizes are increasing; teachers' and teaching assistants' hours are being reduced, causing concern, especially in districts with high numbers of special-needs students. Some districts do not even offer full-day kindergarten.
Four-year-olds cannot sustain a full day of academics, nor should they be forced or expected to. Children of this age need social practice, movement, play and nurturing. Full-day pre-K sounds like full-day child care at the expense of taxpayers.
Why not allow for half-day pre-K, which would serve more students, using that half day for academics? If there is a reserve of money for education, why not funnel that to schools in need, so the educational soundness of our programs can be maintained?
Full-day pre-K at the expense of K-12 seems like serving an appetizer, but not providing the main course!
Karen Ferguson, Glen Cove