Cuts to Georgia's lottery-funded pre-kindergarten program are leading to high teacher turnover, educators say.
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports that teachers this year have left pre-k programs to avoid a 10-percent, state-ordered pay cut.
In Fulton County, officials say 57 of 77 pre-kindergarten teachers quit between the last school year and the current one.
Authorities say that in Decatur City Schools, six of nine pre-k teachers left. In Clayton, it was 31 out of 32 lead teachers.
Steve Barnett, director of the National Institute for Early Education Research, says Georgia's reputation as an early childhood leader is being tarnished.
The pay cuts are part of Gov. Nathan Deal's plan to reduce pre-k spending by $54 million this year to cope with shortfalls in lottery funds, which pay for the program.