HB19-1262 (Wilson & McLachlan/Bridges) State Funding for Full-day Kindergarten

Originally Posted: March 29, 2019
Last Updated: April 19, 2019

Summary

The bill would fund full-day kindergarteners as full-day students rather than treating them as half-day students as the state currently does. This will mean parents will no longer face the burden of tuition and districts will free up resources previously spent on full-day kindergarten to address local needs. It would also reallocate more than 5,000 early learning slots currently being used for kindergarten to expand access to high-quality preschool for more children.

Position

The Children’s Campaign strongly supports the bill. The research on full-day kindergarten and its benefits are linked strongly to math and literacy skills and overall academic growth. In addition, full-day kindergarten helps educators identify children with developmental delays and special learning needs earlier and support them with appropriate interventions. The bill also supports families who often pay tuition to access a full-day experience. With tuition reaching more than $4,500 per school year in some communities, this cost represents a strain on many family budgets that full day funding could alleviate. We know that many school districts, especially in rural areas are already absorbing the cost of providing full-day kindergarten. Ensuring adequate state investment will alleviate pressure on many school district budgets to invest in local priorities such as teacher pay, smaller class sizes, and other support services. Fully funding full-day kindergarten frees up more than 5,000 early learning slots currently used to support full-day kindergarten access for children. Currently only 24 percent of 4-year-olds in Colorado have access to state-funded preschool and there are still several thousand children on the waitlist.

Current Status

Passed the Senate Education Committee unanimously and now heads to the Senate Appropriations Committee.

Previous Statuses


March 29, 2019

Assigned to the House Education and Appropriations Committees and is scheduled to be heard on Tues., Apr. 9 at 1:30pm in the Old State Library

April 5, 2019

Assigned to the House Education and Appropriations Committees and is scheduled to be heard on Tues., Apr. 9 at 1:30pm in the Old State Library.

April 12, 2019

Passed the House Education and Appropriations Committees and now heads to the House floor for debate.