N.H. Kindergarten Accord Includes Construction Funds

Article Tools
  • PrintPrinter-Friendly
  • EmailEmail Article
  • ReprintReprints
  • CommentsComments

The promise of new classroom-construction funding in New Hampshire is prompting school officials across the state to consider adding kindergarten programs.

"That's going to be the key to get a lot of our districts over the hump," said Paul Krohne, the director of the New Hampshire School Boards Association, referring to the legislature's plans to pay 75 percent of the building costs in districts that need school additions or renovations to launch or expand kindergarten programs.

The compromise bill, agreed upon by a House and Senate conference committee June 5, would also boost state aid for kindergarten from $500 to $750 per child and add $20 million to the foundation-aid formula for schools over the next two years, raising fiscal 1998 aid to $65 million and fiscal 1999 aid to $66 million.

But the bill remained in limbo last week because of end-of-session procedural problems and last-minute disputes over budget issues. Legislators hoped to work out their differences and send the bill on to the governor soon.

Six districts have already voted to add kindergarten programs this fall, meaning 109 of the state's 154 school systems will offer kindergarten.

And Helen Schotanus, a state curriculum adviser for primary education, said several more are considering the move. "Districts that have never talked about public kindergarten before are now talking about it," she said.

Statewide, about half of all 5-year-olds attend public kindergarten. Another 35 percent go to private programs, leaving 15 percent with no kindergarten experience when they enter 1st grade.

The $750-per-child allocation would cover only about a third of the cost of a half-day kindergarten program, which is at least $2,000. But the bill is still "the message that we were looking for," Ms. Krohne said.

While satisfied with the kindergarten plan, Democratic Gov. Jeanne Shaheen said last week that she will let the budget bill pass into law without her signature because of other provisions she doesn't like, namely tuition increases at state colleges and universities and cuts in health and human services programs.

--LINDA JACOBSON [email protected]

Web Only

Notice: We recently upgraded our comments. (Learn more here.) If you are logged in as a subscriber or registered user and already have a Display Name on edweek.org, you can post comments. If you do not already have a Display Name, please create one here.
Ground Rules for Posting
We encourage lively debate, but please be respectful of others. Profanity and personal attacks are prohibited. By commenting, you are agreeing to abide by our user agreement.
All comments are public.

Back to Top Back to Top

Most Popular Stories





Sponsor Insights

Stop cobbling together your EdTech

Integrate Science and ELA with Informational Text

To Address Chronic Absenteeism, Dig into the Data

Can self-efficacy impact growth for ELLs?

Disruptive Tech Integration for Meaningful Learning

5 Game-Changers in Today’s Digital Learning Platforms

Keep Your Schools Safe and Responsive to Real Challenges

Hiding in Plain Sight - 7 Common Signs of Dyslexia in the Classroom

The research: Reading Benchmark Assessments

Shifting Mindsets: A Guide for Training Paraeducators to Think Differently About Challenging Behavior

All Students Are Language Learners: The Imagine Learning Language Advantage™

Shifting Mindsets: A Guide for Training Paraeducators to Think Differently About Challenging Behavior

How to Support All Students with Equitable Pathways

2019 K-12 Digital Content Report

3-D Learning & Assessment for K–5 Science

Climate Change, LGBTQ Issues, Politics & Race: Instructional Materials for Teaching Complex Topics

Closing the Science Achievement Gap

Evidence-based Coaching: Key Driver(s) of Scalable Improvement District-Wide

Advancing Literacy with Large Print

Research Sheds New Light on the Reading Brain

3 Unique Learner Profiles for Emerging Bilinguals

Effective Questioning Practices to Spur Thinking

Empower Reading Teachers with Proven Literacy PD

Student Engagement Lessons from 3 Successful Districts

Response to Intervention Centered on Student Learning

The Nonnegotiable Attributes of Effective Feedback

SEE MORE Insights >