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Metro Schools Plans Free Pre-K for All Metro Kids - Eric Alvarez

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NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- Metro Schools plans to offer free Pre-K for every Davidson County 4-year-old by 2018, according to Dr. Jesse Register, director of schools.

Seats could open up as early as this fall but Register says he hopes every Metro kid, including those with special needs and language barriers will soon have access to Pre-K classes.

"Their little minds develop so quickly between zero and six, said Ruby Higdon, a former teacher who's granddaughter is in Pre-K.

The Pre-K program I just think is so wonderful because they get to interact with other children and learn new things every day, Higdon said.

Of course not every family can afford Pre-K for their kids.  That's why Register announced the plans at Tuesdays school board meeting.

"We really want to expand the opportunities for all children in our district, Register said.

The existing Metro Pre-K system accommodates 2,500 kids.

As early as this fall, Ross Elementary in east Nashville and Bordeaux  Elementary in north Nashville could have room for 260 more.

A district spokesperson says that initial expansion would use up just under a million dollars in capital spending funds.

The announcement comes just two months after lawmakers pumped the brakes on Pre-K funding at the state level.

Karissa Adnevik is the mother of two who says the benefits of Pre-K are more than just academic.

I did notice when my youngest went to Pre-K, her personality came out, Advenik said.  She started talking more and I just saw more of her come out.

     A Metro Schools spokesperson says the start-up and first year operating costs for a brand new Pre-K classroom are about $150,000

The Pre-K plan still needs approval from the metro government.

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