Kansas County Looking to Privatize Preschools

Shawnee County, Kan. (Topeka area) is looking to privatize early-childhood education for low-income children in several Topeka-area neighborhoods, and recently issued a request for proposals for the work.

The county is looking for a contract provider that can assume control of five preschools in the county by next year, and recently issued a request for proposals for the work. The preschools are all located near low-income neighborhoods.

The county is looking to privatize them in part to cut costs; the schools are paid for by program participation fees, and the county has had to subsidize the schools to the tune of $85,000 in recent years.

Shawnee recently privatized two other county preschools in 2011, and now makes a small profit in lieu of the $35,000 subsidy it had spent the previous year.

Click here to read the RFP issued for the work. The deadline is March 25.

John Kelly is the editor-in-chief of the Chronicle of Social Change

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