Granite Staters Do Not Support All Day Kindergarten - 90 responses

Aug 12, 2013

On August 10, the Concord Monitor reported that administrators within the Merrimack Valley School District have begun to study the costs and benefits associated with full-day kindergarten. Currently, more than one-third of New Hampshire districts offer full-day kindergarten, while all districts have been required to offer a half-day program since 2010.

 

Given the introduction of Common Core State Standards, which recommend 1,080 rather than 540 hours of kindergarten, this fall more school districts may consider implementation of full-day kindergarten. In polling more than 16,000 Live Free or Die Alliance (LFDA) Facebook followers, 84 percent believe NH schools should not be required to offer full-day kindergarten.

 

While several respondents expressed concern that a full day of classroom instruction is simply too long for children at this age, others agreed with the idea in principle, but took exception to schools requiring it.

 

“It should be up to the people of the school district,” said one respondent. “Education is a community issue, not Federal and should be as close to hands off as possible at the state level.”

 

Of those that dissented with the majority opinion, several noted the increase in taxes would be more than justified.

 

“Every developed nation spends more on early education than the U.S.,” said one respondent. “If you want to ensure kids benefit from school and become productive adults, invest in education and especially early education.”

 

Many respondents, however, questioned the Common Core State Standards themselves. “Common Core is a crock,” said one respondent, who echoed similar sentiments expressed by others.

 

Other respondents cited inadequate research to support their use in NH schools.

 

“There is no data supporting a full day of school at the age of 5 or that a child needs kindergarten at all if parents are doing their job,” said one respondent.

 

Also questioning the effectiveness of Common Core State Standards, another respondent cited the related concern of what it would cost taxpayers to implement full-day kindergarten.

 

“Your current tax dollars do not pay for full time kindergarten,” she said. “You are asking to have taxes increased so the towns can pay the full time teachers their benefits, pension, dues, and additional administrative support needed to manage the additional employees and [their] benefits, pension, dues… It will be expensive.”

 

The LFDA presents this report as a digest of citizen testimony where respondents are to the greatest extent possible identifiable by their real names. As New Hampshire's Town Hall, the nonprofit, nonpartisan LFDA is free and open to everyone.

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