Teachers, officials concerned over Pre-K funding

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Pre-K programs in Huntingdon County aren’t letting the ongoing budget impasse stand in their way. 

For the first time since Thanksgiving, preschoolers made their way back to their classes once again. Nine of the county’s program temporarily closed their doors due to the lack of funding. 

Temporary funding from Governor Tom Wolf recently reopened preschool classrooms. Jessica Deline’s class at Mapleton-Union Elementary School was one of them. 

“It’s good to be back, we’re excited to have the kids back,” Deline said. 

At one point, the county thought they would have to borrow money to keep their programs running. School officials said they are thankful for the $5.7 million funds from Harrisburg, but they are always wondering if program will continue to operate. 

“We’ve lost other federal funds that we count on to provide teachers, to provide programs, to provide services, that’s kind of frustrating,” Brett Gilliland, Mount Union Area School District’s superintendent said. 

Both Deline and Gilliland stress the importance of a preschool education, stating it prepares students with lifelong skills outside of writing and being social. 

Two out of nine preschool programs in Huntingdon County are still closed. Both are awaiting for federal funds to be distributed from the state. 

School officials said they are constantly staying in contact with state legislators. 

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