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Budget for full day kindergarten has been approved

Budget for full day kindergarten has been approved

Budget for full day kindergarten has been approved
May 09
14:45 2019

SPANISH

GOVERNOR POLIS OBTAINS A POLITICAL VICTORY

Newsroom/El Comercio de Colorado

Governor Jared Polis has bill HB19-1262 approved by congress and ready to sign on his desk. This project that was an initiative by Polis, passed successfully on both chambers of the Colorado Legislative Assembly. It was unanimously approved in the Senate. All legislators from the Western slope, both Democrats and Republicans supported the project.

The main aspect of the law is that it assigns about 183 million dollars per year to allow all 178 school districts in the State to offer free full day preschool. This project mandates that every school district that is not offering full day kindergarten to present a plan on how it could be implemented. However, the law doesn’t mandate offering the service.

Benefits for rural schools

Now, the State of Colorado only offers half day preschool. Some districts have increased local taxes, or they have used federal funds for schools located in high poverty areas to be able to finance full day kindergarten. Other districts charge a monthly tuition to the families. Many parents from rural areas are not able to take their kids to schools that are very far from their homes, to be there just half day, explained the legislators.

Some rural districts don’t have the resources to offer full day preschool.  “I want people to know how important this bill is, especially to rural Colorado”, said Jerry Sonnenberg, Republican state senator.  “We have kids who don’t go to kindergarten at all because they may not be able to afford to get there”, said Sonnenberg.

This republican senator explained that “half-day kindergarten, quite frankly, is one of the most oppressive education policies we have had for people that are average or below-average income. And quite frankly, that’s mostly in rural Colorado.” In both rural and urban areas, there are counted districts who are able to subsidize the cost of a full day of preschool.

Word from the promoters

Bill HB19-1262 will create about 5,000 spots for preschool students. “Every kid in Colorado deserves a fair shot at success no matter where they come from”, said Jeff Bridges, Democratic Senator from Greenwood Village, one of the promoters of the bill. And he added, “the differences kids show up with in the first grade stay with them the rest of their educational careers”.

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EDICIÓN VIRTUAL | #345 | 15 DE AGOSTO 2019

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