Full-day kindergarten funding has a chance

Apr 11, 2017

BY: CCNH-LFDA Highlights

As part of his budget proposal this year, Gov. Chris Sununu included funding for full-day kindergarten programs.

Right now New Hampshire funds all kindergarten programs as if they are half-day programs.  Gov. Sununu’s proposal would vary funding based on the number of English language learners and reduced and free lunch students in each district, but any district offering a full-day program would be eligible for increased kindergarten funding from the state.

When they received Sununu’s budget proposal, the House of Representatives stripped out funding for full-day kindergarten.  However, the House ultimately failed to pass a budget bill, so now the Senate will consider full-day kindergarten funding as they draft a budget.

The Senate is likely to include the funding because they already passed a stand-alone bill that increases kindergarten funding. 

Once the Senate passes a budget bill, the House will get a chance to negotiate a final version with Senators.

Will full-day kindergarten funding make the final cut?  It certainly has a chance.

Supporters of full-day kindergarten funding point to research that shows that students in full-day kindergarten programs perform better throughout their school years.  Supporters argue that the state should not penalize districts offering full-day kindergarten by forcing their local taxpayers to pay more for the programs.

Opponents of full-day kindergarten funding argue that half-day kindergarten programs are more than adequate to prepare students.  A lack of extra state funding has also not stopped many districts from adding full-day programs.

When we asked our community about full-day kindergarten funding in January, about three-fifths of commenters opposed full-day funding.  Click here to read our report. 

Do you think New Hampshire should fund full-day kindergarten programs?  Share your comments below.

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