published Sunday, February 27th, 2011

Pre-k cuts worry teachers and parents

REGION DIGEST

ATLANTA

Pre-k cuts worry teachers, parents

Parents and teachers on Friday assailed proposed cuts to Georgia’s prekindergarten program.

At a legislative hearing, some prekindergarten teachers said they no longer would be able to make ends meet if the program is cut from 61⁄2 hours a day to four. Others said cutting the instruction time would hurt the quality of the education being offered to 4-year-olds.

There also were concerns about the impact on working parents, who would have to scramble to find additional care.

Faced with increased transportation costs and scheduling challenges, some said districts simply would eliminate pre-k altogether.

Pre-k is facing about $54 million in cuts this year as part of an overhaul of the state’s cash-strapped lottery programs.

CLEVELAND, Tenn.

Mayor to speak at MainStreet

Bradley County Mayor D. Gary Davis will be the speaker Monday for the monthly luncheon meeting of MainStreet Cleveland.

Davis will review the state of the county over the past months. The lunch is $10 at the Cleveland Elks Lodge.

MainStreet members also will review spring attractions including Burgers and Blues the first Friday of each month at Tooters Music, the MainStreet Cruise-In that begins April 23, Relay for Life May 6 and 7, the Evening Shade Concert Series each Friday evening in May and the Five Points Farmers Market that reopens in June.

NASHVILLE

School recognizes gay student group

Belmont University officially has recognized a gay student organization for the first time.

According to The Tennessean, Bridge Builders is dedicated to advancing a campus dialogue about Christianity and human sexuality. The group had tried twice before to gain official status on campus.

Belmont is a Christian university that had been affiliated with the Southern Baptists until it broke away in 2007.

Its policies toward gays drew national attention in December after soccer coach Lisa Howe left her job. Students have accused the university of firing Howe for coming out as a lesbian to her team.

BRIDGEPORT, Ala.

Park service seeks summer teachers

The National Park Service is seeking teachers from Title 1 schools to become summer rangers.

The Teacher-Ranger-Teacher program will help teachers develop national park educational programs and present them to visitors and area schools.

Russell Cave National Monument is developing ozone garden, climate change and archeology programs for schools. Little River Canyon National Preserve is developing programs on the environment, climate change, history, rare species, technology and science for use in the park and in classrooms.

Qualified applicants would receive National Park Service training and a stipend. Teachers interested can call the Russell Cave National Monument at 256-495-2672 or the Little River Canyon National Preserve at 256-845-9605.

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