In Massachusetts, three school districts are rethinking whether to offer full-day kindergarten for free, and the school board of a California district recently discussed cutting kindergarten altogether. The Boston Globe reported this week in “Schools reconsider full-day programs” that one district halted a plan to add full-day classes, another wants to charge fees for parents that opt to enroll their children in full-day kindergarten, and another has already announced fees.
The Capistrano Unified School District in California recently announced a list of possible budget cuts that included eliminating kindergarten. That idea didn’t go over well with some parents, who wondered if it was legal, according to the Orange County Register. The reporter for the newspaper asked around and concluded, “there is no clear legal answer.”
This is happening in a national context in which we’ve heard a number of politicians, including Ohio’s governor, Ted Strickland, and U.S. President Barack Obama, promote the importance of early-childhood education.
These news stories are a sign to me that the financial crisis is weighing really heavily on some school districts.
A version of this news article first appeared in the Curriculum Matters blog.