Still waiting for Pre-K admission letters

September 3, 2010 2:05:43 PM PDT
Paul Mowry and his daughter, Ellie, are among the nearly two thousand applicants still waiting for word on admission to pre-kindergarten programs in their neighborhood.

"The thing I find frustrating is that there are not enough seats for everyone to put their kids into pre-kindergarten," Mowry said.

He says the Department of Education never explained to him why the process is running so close to the start of the school year.

"So we applied in June to about six schools online. That was round one of the lottery. We didn't get into any of our schools and everybody I know, even people we spoke to in the playground, nobody got in unless you had an older sibling," Mowry said.

The DOE says late applications delayed the process for at least one week, but that this round always happens in late august. A third round will not begin until next week.

Paul says he called the DOE on Friday.

"They said they were expecting them to go out sometime this afternoon," he said.

Another family has still not received an acceptance, and Madeha Ali has given up on getting a spot for her daughter, Nawal. She has felt forced to enroll her in an expensive, private pre-k program.

"Lots of money, but what can we do? How can she spend the whole year at home?" she said.

For families who did not get word by Friday, the D.O.E. says, with apologies, they will hear some time next week, which is, of course, when school begins.