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#9 K-Power - Free Kindergarten

All Schools Should:

Offer a free kindergarten experience.

Definitions

Free

Children attend without parents or caretakers being charged tuition or fees.

 

What is the current landscape?

Policies across states and districts are inconsistent.  Some states fund kindergarten as a full-day similar to 1st grade, while others only provide funds to cover half of the day.  Consequently, districts with only half-day funding have to find alternative sources to fund a full-day program.  In some cases, this means charging parents for a portion of the full-day kindergarten.[1]

 

Full-day funding that is outside the funding formula is precarious and is subject to every-changing economic climates. When budget shortfalls occur, full-day kindergarten is frequently cut, or threatened to be cut.[2]  Some states incentive half-day programs by only funding half-day regardless of whether the program is full-day or not.

 

Why does it matter?

A system in which some children attend full-day for free, while others do not simply due to their zip code is not equitable. Charging tuition leaves full-day, with all its benefits, only an option for those who can afford it.

 

Research[3]

Children’s Defense Fund. (2012). The facts about full-day kindergarten. Retrieved from http://www.childrensdefense.org/child-research-data-publications/data/the-facts-about-full-day.pdf

 

Education Commission of the States. (2013). Early learning: Kindergarten online database. Retrieved from http://www.ecs.org/html/educationIssues/Kindergarten/KDB_intro_SF.asp

 

Kauerz, K. (2010). PreK-3rd: Putting full-day kindergarten in the middle. New York, NY: Foundation for Child Development.  Retrieved from http://fcd-us.org/resources/prek-3rd-putting-full-day-kindergarten-middle

 


[1] Kauerz, K. (2010). PreK-3rd: Putting full-day kindergarten in the middle. New York, NY: Foundation for Child Development. 

[2] Children’s Defense Fund. (2012). The facts about full-day kindergarten. Retrieved from http://www.childrensdefense.org/child-research-data-publications/data/the-facts-about-full-day.pdf