To the editor:
(re: “Whatever happened to Pre-K for All? Ask schools,” Nov. 10)
Thank you for your excellent editorial. Your assessment of the situation is accurate: Independent early education providers who have contracted with the education department are in trouble because they are not being paid on-time.
What shouldn’t be lost in this situation is the important roles these programs play in the communities they serve. Schools like the Amalgamated Nursery School — founded in 1929 — and Marble Hill Nursery School — founded in 1953 — have been anchors in their communities for years. They hold the culture and histories of their communities, provide opportunities for the (mostly) women who work in them, and educate generations of children in a way that is meaningful to their communities.
If the non-payment of the education department forces these schools out of existence, a valuable community asset will be lost.
My hope is that communities will communicate the importance of these schools to the education department, continue to send their children to their local independent early childhood programs, and work to keep these historic schools open.
They are irreplaceable.
The author is the program coordinator and professional development liaison and lecturer for the early childhood and childhood department at Lehman College