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All-day kindergarten funding may be common ground

Quentin Hope

While the Kansas legislature and local school districts may be at odds over school funding, there may be common ground in a proposal to fund full-day kindergarten, according to a story from the Wichita Eagle.  The state now funds only half-days.

About 271 of the state’s 286 districts currently provide all-day kindergarten.  Most cover the additional costs using state funds for at-risk students.  About 20 districts charge parents fees ranging from $270 to $1,350 a semester for all-day instruction.

Gov. Sam Brownback has proposed a plan that would ramp-up state funding over five years.  Each year the state would increase funding by one-tenth of a day until the added half day is fully funded.  Each year and one-tenth of a day would add $16 million in state spending.

All-day kindergarten funding has been one of the State Board of Education’s budget requests for the past several years.  Gov. Brownback is quoted in the Wichita Eagle article as saying, “It’s a key area for investment in students”.