Tuesday, July 5, 2011


Really? It's been 6 weeks since I last posted? Gosh. Life has been, well, full I guess.

What did I want to scream from the top of every mountain? Once again, Dill's preschool program was slashed from the school budget and I was told there was a 10%-15% chance of it being restored. The state money was cut and the schools district was $720 million dollars in the red. Dill's teacher actually told me if she was in my position she would get a lawyer. A lawyer? Why a lawyer? Well, because with preschool not being offered in our school district, the only placement left for Dill would be in a self-contained special education classroom. And not even the one at our school! That one was full. He could now be placed in any one of the schools located within the 227.2 square miles of our city. I cried. Then I cried some more. All of the accomplishments Dill had made over the past 2 years could potentially be wiped out just like that. I was devastated.

Immediately I called private preschools in our area to see if anyone had any openings for the fall. There was no way Dill could not be in some kind of school program in the fall. He had to have something. I needed him to have something. Of course this had to happen the last week that most schools were open. Many didn't have openings. Many didn't want him because of his diagnosis. They couldn't adequately provide for his needs they said. No problem. I'm glad they were upfront. I finally found one school that had openings and was willing to try him out. They also had an opening for Sweet Pickles too! The only problem was it was the afternoon session. Dill has OT twice a week in the afternoon. We tried to move OT around, but it didn't work. Now what?

The next day Daddy Pickles found out that the new mayor would be visiting his fire house. The perfect opportunity to tell the new mayor in person how he had to find money in the budget SOMEHOW to save preschool. Then I found out others weren't allowed in that day. Only the fire fighters on duty. That didn't stop me. I sat down and for 2 thoughtful hours composed a letter for Daddy Pickles to hand deliver to the mayor. Only, the mayor never showed up that day. I was so devastated. I ended up mailing the letter anyways figuring at least I tried. I was sure the letter would just be added to the pile of others that came in and nothing would be done about it.

A week later the state passed their budget and kept preschool funding, but slashed the amount drastically. Budgets would finally be available to principals, but they wouldn't say if preschool was saved for our city. The budgets were hand delivered to the principals on a Friday morning, but on Monday morning Dill's teacher still did not know the fate of her classroom. Monday afternoon I was invited to a volunteer appreciation luncheon at the school. It was supposed to be hosted by the principal, but she was called into a budget meeting so the secretary thanks us instead. Right at the end the principal showed up and thanked everyone for helping her through her first year as principal. Then she started walking around to the different tables saying thank you. Of course mine was the last table. I smiled and asked if she learned anything about preschool in her meeting and she said, "Let me sit down and tell you what I know." Hrmph. Must not be good news if she has to sit down.

I must tell you that I think our new principal is amazing. She has set high standards for the students at our school and a lot of them are excelling. Our last principal was, well, let's just say she had been a principal for waaaaaaaaaay too long and it was time for her to move on. I was on pins and needles waiting to hear what she had to say. She started by telling me that her budget was delivered late Friday morning and that many principals received phone calls from high ranking people in the finance department on Thursday night. These phone calls were to let the principals know that even though the city tried and tried, it just wasn't possible to keep the preschools up and running. When they received their budgets in the morning, the preschool line item would read ZERO. I tried my best to keep from crying. My brain was going 9 million miles an hour. What would happen to my Dill? What was I going to do? How could this be happening? She went on to tell me that very early Friday morning there was a meeting where they decided that no matter how great the budget deficit, they just could not cut preschool funding. They would find a way somehow to make it work. I just couldn't hold back anymore at that point. The floodgate of tears burst forth. Then she went on to say not only would Dill have preschool next year, she was moving his classroom in from the trailer in the parking lot into a huge classroom on the first floor in the main school building! More tears of joy. The woman probably thought I belonged in the loony bin. I wanted to hug her, but I didn't. I just thanked her profusely and walked out of the school and into my truck and cried some more.

Remember that letter I wrote to the mayor? Nah, I've blabbered on enough in this post. You'll just have to wait for another day.............

1 comment:

Patty O. said...

Wow, that's amazing! I sure hope they find some funding somewhere!