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Ann Arbor Public Schools Parents Hopeful for Return of Tuition Based Pre-School


As a cost cutting measure Ann Arbor Public Schools closed tuition based pre-school programs at Allen and Thurston Elementary for the current school year. 

A group of parents however have been working with district officials to create a new pre-school program and hope the school board will begin considering the options later this month. 

One parent, Janelle Johnson says the old pre-school program did a better job than private pre-schools in preparing all students to succeed in school.  She adds that the program had more diversity including economic diversity than most private pre-schools, and the program did a great job of preparing kids for elementary school and made kids more comfortable with the idea of school. 

Jeanice Swift, Superintendent of the AAPS, explains to WEMU news that  a tuition based pre-school proposal will be designed for all Ann Arbor kids and not exactly the same as the discontinued program.

Another parent, Caitlin Rowe says a key aspect that separated this pre-school program from private pre-schools is the way it was designed specifically for Ann Arbor Public Schools.

— Andrew Cluley is the Ann Arbor beat reporter, and anchor for 89.1 WEMU News. Contact him at 734.487.3363 or email him

Like many, I first came to this area when I started school at the University of Michigan, then fell in love with the community and haven’t left. After graduating from U of M in the mid 1990’s I interned at WDET for several years, while also working a variety of jobs in Ann Arbor. Then in 1999 I joined the WEMU news team.
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