KCK headstart students turned away after enrollment snafu

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KANSAS CITY, Kan. -- Some parents in Kansas City, Kan., are worrying about their children's education after they say they were turned away from their pre-school program.

Krishawn Huggin's four-year-old son Cortez just learned how to spell his name.

"He loves to learn. He reads the Bible. He loves it," Huggins said.

But Huggins says he didn't learn it at pre-school, he learned it at home.

"It's just frustrating," she said. "You want him to go to school. He's able to."

Huggins says she signed Cortez up for headstart on the enrollment date but was turned away on Monday, which was the first day of school.

"They're behind," Huggins said. "Some kids will start, some kids won't."

That's what she says the Kansas City Kansas School District told her when she called to check on her son's enrollment.

The district was awarded a multi-million dollar grant in June to take over the program. When KCK took over, the district says each child had to be re-enrolled. It's a process with address and income verifications that district reps say is taking time to complete.

"He should've been one of the first kids in there," Huggins said, who says her son was one of the first people to enroll. "I have a friend she actually went the same day. And I know people that went after me and their kids have."

The district says that's because it's working on a ranking system.

Parent's children who do not work will likely be placed before parents who do.

"It's not fair," she said.

Huggins has to work.

In the meantime, her mother has stepped in to take care of her son, but if the wait continues Huggins has no idea what she'll do.

"It's nothing I can do," she said. "He's just here, and I'm teaching him myself, basically."

District reps said they have been very vocal with parents about the enrollment process. They want parents to know they understand their frustration and are doing all that they can to get their children enrolled.

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