EDUCATION
10/18/2012 07:52 pm ET Updated Dec 18, 2012

Bev Perdue Issues Executive Order Approving Early Childhood Education Funding

North Carolina Governor Bev Perdue Thursday issued an executive order authorizing the expansion of the NC Pre-K program to serve up to 6,300 additional children by Jan. 1, 2013. An estimated 1,000 of those children will be served immediately in Pre-K classrooms across the state.

The North Carolina Court of Appeals unanimously affirmed a lower court ruling Aug. 21 mandating that the state not deny any eligible "at-risk" 4-year-old admission to the North Carolina Pre-Kindergarten Program.

Perdue identified $20 million in projected unspent funds from the Department of Health and Human Services to pay for the enrollment slots. None of the money comes from early education programs. The funding will be distributed to counties prior to the end of 2012 to fund expanded enrollment through the reminder of the 2012-2013 academic year.

The North Carolina Pre-Kindergarten Program (formerly known as More at Four) is a state-funded pre-kindergarten program designed to prepare at-risk 4-year-olds in North Carolina for success in school.

Almost 25,000 children are currently enrolled in NC Pre-K.

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(c)2012 Sun Journal (New Bern, N.C.)

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