Survey to Gather Opinions on Full-Day K
Ridgewood NJ , The Full-day Kindergarten Exploratory Committee will seek residents’ input via an online community survey, opening January 4. All residents are invited and encouraged to participate. Click here for more information and to view the postcard that will be mailed to all residents.
The Full-day Kindergarten Exploratory Committee now has a folder on the Curriculum web page. Click here to go directly to the folder, which contains reports done by demographer Ross Haber.
The teachers union (NEA) recognizes that full-day kindergarten programs close achievement gaps between young children from minority and low-income families and their peers. By providing a solid foundation of learning to children from all backgrounds, full-day kindergarten programs ensure all students’ academic, social, and emotional success.( http://www.nea.org/home/11541.htm )
Be wary of mandating full-day kindergarten
A petition circulating throughout many school districts asks residents to support the extension of the kindergarten program from a half-day program to a full-day one. While no one disputes the advantages and positive impact of early childhood education, those supporting this endeavor are trying to pull the wool over the taxpayers’ eyes by minimizing the cost of their new program.
Efforts to make full-day kindergarten a state mandate by state law stalled because Gov. Christie understands that whatever the state mandates, the state must then pay for. Recently, he vetoed a bill that would create a task force to study issues related to the establishment of full-day kindergarten.
In his veto message, Gov. Christie stated, “Further, while the Department of Education is ready, willing, and able to assist districts in implementing a full-day program, the decision of whether to offer a full-day program should reside with local boards of education and their constituents.”
Since the decision on the extension of full-day kindergarten was not “solved” in one fell swoop, each district remains free to decide for itself what it would like to do. In this respect, a district-wide vote on a referendum of this nature represents the purest form of democracy.