WILMINGTON, NC (WECT) - Gov. Bev Perdue recently transferred $9.3 million to the North Carolina pre-K program to make room for 2,000 more children.
If you do that math, that's a staggering amount of money per child -- almost $5,000 each, rivaling the $5,600 annual tuition at UNCW.
NC pre-K helps at-risk 4-year-olds prepare for kindergarten, teaching them social skills as well as letters and numbers, colors and shapes. Most of their parents' incomes fall below the state poverty level.
"It's not a baby sitting service at all," said Dr. Diane Emerson, director of the state's pre-K program in New Hanover County. "We really focus on high academics. Getting students ready for kindergarten."