Closure could become reality for Antioch state-funded preschool

ANTIOCH, Calif. (KGO) -- A state-funded preschool in Antioch may be forced to close, which would leave 300 children without a free preschool.

Parents and administrators Tuesday are taking their concerns to the city council, in hopes they will help.

Kids' Club in Antioch has served many families who can't afford to pay for preschool. It has truly been a preschool for all, funded by the state and free for most families.

"They've helped a lot, spelling, reading, writing," said parent Charisse Mahoney.

For the past 10 years, the Antioch Unified School District has leased the space to the preschool for less than $5,000 a month, but last year, the district notified them it wanted the space back for their special needs kids.

Finding a similar space for that amount of money has been impossible. Recently, the director of the preschool approached the city and the school district about two vacant parcels where they could build on.

"We have put in offers for both pieces of land that are owned by the city and by the school district," said Mark Mokski. "Both parcels are sitting vacant right now and we have requested use of them and have not heard from the city or the school district at this point in time."

The city manager said selling or leasing any land would be a lengthy process.

"You got to go through Parks and Recreation Commission, declare the surplus and all that so we don't think there's anything the city can do in the short run to be very helpful," said the city manager Steve Duran.

Parents aren't giving up yet. Tuesday night they will ask the city council to intervene on their behalf.

"We can't afford a preschool. This is the only way that our children can get that head start, can have a preschool like all the other kids," said parent Abra Basulto.

The school has until July 31 to find a space or it will have to close.
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