F to the N.C. House for moving to continuing to move to tighten eligibility rules for N.C. Pre-K, the state’s free program for at-risk 4-year-olds. House Bill 935 changes the definition of “at-risk’’ children eligible for the program to families of three making about $39,000 a year down to $19,000. The bill’s sponsor, Rep. Justin Burr, R-Stanley, said, “Eligibility is up here, and funding is down here. We’re making an effort to bring this eligibility down to something we can fund.”
Currently about 60,000 children are eligible under the definition, a number that could drop to 31,000. At the same time, the House was also moving on a proposal to end North Carolina’s estate tax, which sent $50 million to state coffers last year. Only 23 families paid the tax. Twenty-three families vs. 29,000 kids. The math does not reflect well on this legislature.