A federal judge today ordered that North Carolina cannot limit the number of 4-year-olds enrolled in the state’s pre-kindergarten program, long known as More at Four, the Associated Press reports. It’s not clear yet whether the state will have to rewrite its 2012 budget to comply with the order.
The state’s recently passed budget cut pre-K spending by 20 percent and made other changes, such as limiting enrollment of at-risk 4-year-olds to 20 percent of total enrollment.
Superior Court Judge Howard Manning Jr.'s order bars the state from limiting the participation of at-risk children. “It is the duty of the State of North Carolina to protect each and every one of these at-risk and defenseless children, and to provide them their lawful opportunity, through a quality pre-kindergarten program” guaranteed by the state constitution,” Manning wrote.
A version of this news article first appeared in the Early Years blog.