The Lansing School District is making pre-Kindergarten education free for all students starting this fall.
Existing pre-K programs in Lansing, including Head Start, have barriers to entry based on family income.
With Wednesday’s announcement of district-wide free pre-K, Superintendent Ben Shuldiner said those barriers have been removed.
"What’s wonderful about what we’re doing today is we’re just saying you all get to come.”
Shuldiner said he hopes the expansion of pre-K programs will reach hundreds of children who otherwise would not be eligible.
“Universal pre-K is a wonderful thing, you all deserve it," he explained. "Don’t worry about it. We’ll figure out if it’s funded through the feds, if it’s funded through the state [or] if it’s funded through us. We’ll figure it out.”
Shuldiner added there’s been an increase in state funding for pre-school programs helping the district.
He said, though, if 1,000 kids come, “it’s probably going to cost a lot, but it’s worth it.”
The tuition-free pre-K is open to Lansing children who will be four years old on or by December 1st.
Free transportation and food will be provided.
Shuldiner said he’s happy to invest in children early.
He hopes kids who participate will stay for Kindergarten and beyond.