Funny how a few days ago I was thankful for the deployment, because now it’s back to pissing me off and this time it has very little to do with my husband being in a war zone. On Thursday last week, the local school district put out the dates for the “Preschool Round Up”, which is the day and time you bring your pre-assembled packet to the school you’re hoping your child will get accepted into for the following preschool year. Did I mention this is for PUBLIC preschool, not private? That’s right, there is an application process to get into the preschool program at the school my daughter already attends and my son is receiving speech services at. So I asked the typical questions, “Is an LES a valid form of income verification or do we need that in addition to the other two forms you require?” (because the LES is MANDATORY for children of service members) and “Will or how will placement effect my son’s IEP services if he is sent to a school other than the one currently administering services?” (FYI: We live in walking distance to the kids current school, but my son may still be sent to a school 20 minutes drive away because of the way the preschools are funded at the different PUBLIC schools in our county, ain’t it grand?)
My questions were met with “Here’s the number to the preschool coordinator, contact her with your questions.”
Well, thanks Mr School Board Man for not knowing how your own programs are run.
I emailed the woman, I will call “Ma’am”, though personally, I’d much rather call her a much less nice name at the moment. This is the email I sent to her:
“Ma’am,My son has an IEP that is being applied and monitored by (You Study Here) school staff, twice a week. How will pre-k placement (or lack there of) effect his IEP status? My daughter is a student at (You Study Here) but my son only receives services there. Will pre-k placement effect where and how he receives his services?
Also, we are a military family. My husband is currently deployed to Afghanistan and wont return until AFTER the application date. Since his deployment status alters his LES, will these changes effect our son’s application? Is the LES considered a Verification of Income, or is it required in addition to two other forms of verification? What forms of verification would you recommend for a family, like mine, that lives on the single income of the Active Duty Soldier?
I am very confused about all of this, having never gone through a process in which we had to apply for school. Any assistance you could offer would be much appreciated. I am able to provide all documents pertaining to my son’s date of birth and residency status, as well as immunizations and proof of physical. I am just very confused about the Verification of Income aspects of the application process.
Thank you for your time. I look forward to hearing from you soon.Mrs. R. Noba”
First priority is given only to the economically disadvantaged, a mandate from the D.O.E. Other criteria are considered only if space is still available after placement of this specific group.
We must have proof of the household gross income, if your sole income is your husband’s then the LES is one and a W2 or 1040 would be the second.
“Good Morning, Ma’am:My next question is kind of odd, but which parts of the LES are used for determination? I ask because my husband is deployed right now and will be until this summer. As such, his LES is not reflecting typical income when he is stateside and I’m concerned that the current LES would disqualify us because of the allotments and entitlements that we receive while my husband is in a combat zone that we don’t get while he is home. This is creating a lot of confusion for us during this process and we want to be able to have a back up plan in place in the event that our current predicament disqualifies our son from free public education during the preschool year.
Any light you can shed on this matter would be greatly appreciated. I’m sure you can understand the confusion and uncertainty for us.
Thank you for your time,Mrs. R. Noba”
“When looking at the LES, all monies coming into the household is included, so deployment pay is included.”
“So despite the fact that we will be bringing in maybe half that by the time school starts, my son could be disqualified because my husband is in Afghanistan. Thank you for answering my questions. I guess we’ll hope for the best but also start looking into whether or not we will be able to afford private preschool.
Sincerely,Mrs. R. Noba”
I haven’t gotten a response back. I don’t think I will. At this point, I began looking up preschools in our city and did you know the average tuition at a 4-yr state university can actually be LESS than what you could be paying in preschool tuition? The prices for preschools in our area ranges from “OUCH!” to “OMGWTF!?!?!?!” (not kidding, the lowest is still over $2000 a year and one school was topping over 7K for preschool, just in tuition. That’s not including all the other random things they nickle and dime you for.)
I hate this. It’s bad enough my husband is in a war zone fighting to make sure our country stays safe, but once again our family is being punished because he’s gone. It’s not like he had a choice whether to leave or not. It’s not like he’s on vacation. And now, he has to worry about shelling out thousands of dollars in tuition because the public school system has policies that are ill equipped to deal with the transitions from deployment to non-deployed. I hate this. I’m pissed off, stressed out, discouraged and if I had that kind of money to throw down on tuition, I wouldn’t have dropped out of college for the third time this past fall. We aren’t exactly swimming in cash, half the time our heads are barely above water and they’ve just handed us another rock and told us to “Swim faster against that current”…