Oregon Department of Education spends millions on unenrolled preschool programs, up to $229,000 per student

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Over the past two years, Oregon’s Village Childcare Enterprises has received more than $600,000. It aims to serve 33 preschoolers from low-income families in 2020-2021 and 20 preschoolers from 2021 to her in 2022. However, during that time, the center reported fewer than 10 students enrolled in the program.

Rather than being the exception, the Village Childcare Enterprises experience is just one example of the millions of dollars allocated to early learning facilities in Oregon. This is true even if the facility is empty or only a fraction of the available space is occupied.

Oregon’s Preschool Promise program was launched in 2016 to provide publicly funded preschool education to families 200% below the federal poverty limit. The Oregon Department of Education’s Early Learning Division awards “slots” to childcare facilities. Each slot represents one of her students and is worth about $14,000.

Over the past two years, nearly $90 million has been donated by the Oregon Department of Education through Preschool Promise grants. In February 2021 he had just over 2,100 students enrolled in the program, and in February 2022 he had just over 3,300 students enrolled in the program. .

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Oregon's Preschool Promise program donated hundreds of thousands of dollars to early learning facilities with no or very few students.

Oregon’s Preschool Promise program donated hundreds of thousands of dollars to early learning facilities with no or very few students.
(iStock)

All Families Welcome was awarded 18 slots to preschool Promise students for both 2020-2021. In 2021-2022, only 1 student was admitted. Nonetheless, the center was paid about $300,000 one year and over $220,000 the next year.

Education Explorers won 12 spots in 2020-2021 and 10 spots in 2021-2022, but enrolled less than 2 students. However, the center was paid $150,000 one year and $74,000 another year.

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Neighborhood House won 36 slots both years, but enrolled fewer than 10 students. They awarded him $448,000 for the 2020-2021 school year and $370,000 for the 2021-2022 school year.

Happy school children, holding bouquet, first day of school, rainy autumn day in September

Happy school children, holding bouquet, first day of school, rainy autumn day in September
(in stock)

A spokesperson for the Oregon Department of Education told Fox News Digital that Preschool Promise funding is primarily related to fixed costs such as staffing, utilities and facilities. This means that the program should always be ready to offer the full number of funded slots. “

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“In other words, the program cannot delay services to referred children while they hire more staff or move to larger facilities. It helps you to be ready to receive the introduced child immediately.

Jeff Myers of Save Oregon Schools alerted Fox News Digital to funding discrepancies and called out the Oregon Department of Education for its lack of transparency in program funding.

“The ELD website claims it served 3,756 children in the 2021-22 school year, which is simply not true. According to public records they ultimately provided, they We had rooms for 3,756 children across 268 providers, but the actual number was 3,313 children registered,” he told Fox News Digital.

A line of preschoolers crossing the street with their teacher.

A line of preschoolers crossing the street with their teacher.
(Joan Slatkin/Education Images/Universal Images Group via Getty Images)

Finch Academy has awarded grants to 36 children in the Preschool Promise program, but no students were enrolled in the program in the 2020-2021 school year and no students were enrolled in the 2021-2022 school year. There was only one person.

Delorie Finch, owner of The Finch Academy, blamed the Oregon Department of Education’s Early Learning Division, which manages the Preschool Promise, for not filling the slots.

“I was told that I had to accept students… I was also told that I would be given students,” she told Fox News Digital.

Finch said her center is licensed for 40 students and Finch Academy is ready to host that number. However, with her 36 slots reserved for students at Preschool Promise, Mr. Finch was forced to turn down paying customers, prompting her to “never come” to Preschool Promise. She said she continues to open slots for her students.

“The fact that we don’t have these kids to serve is mad at me. It’s mad at my staff.” But then they don’t show up.”

“Helping these children is dear and close to my heart.It is a privilege for me to be able to work with children regardless of their socioeconomic status.Our mission is to: To provide all children with a safe and loving environment that strengthens their moral, academic, social, mental and physical foundations to thrive in an ever-changing world.

According to the Department of Education website, grantees must “participate in the coordinated registration process of their regional Early Learning Hub,” but must be “selected through a regional coordinated registration process administered by the Early Learning Hub. You must register only family members who have

Amid these lower-than-expected numbers, the early learning department told Fox News Digital it was reviewing its procedures.

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“The Early Learning Department is reviewing protocols to review enrollment and direct programs to reduce operations until enrollment increases. Impact of the COVID-19 Pandemic on Families and Return This protocol was not put in place on 21-23 as it sought to mitigate delays in childcare and is under consideration for transition to child care due to safety concerns, but future implementation is under discussion. , the unenrolled program must reach 75% of enrollees by the middle of the program year,” said a spokesperson.

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