Archive for Thursday, February 23, 2006

Funding main hurdle for all-day kindergarten

February 23, 2006


The Lawrence school district could have a full-day kindergarten program in place by fall, Supt. Randy Weseman said Wednesday.

"The will is there : it's just a question of finding the dollars," Weseman said during an online chat Wednesday on the Journal-World's Web site.

Weseman received several questions during the chat about providing full-day kindergarten in Lawrence from parents seeking it for their children.

Weseman told readers the district's staff is preparing a plan for full-day kindergarten that will be presented to the Lawrence school board.

"We will offer several scenarios, one of which will be a fee-based program," Weseman said. "Excluding facilities, it would cost around $1.2 million to implement it districtwide. Expensive : but worth it. The research is specific on benefits received versus dollars invested."

Weseman wrote that a plan, if approved before May, could be put in place for the next academic year.

After the chat, Weseman said the district had been working on a plan for full-day kindergarten for several years.

"We had to cut it about four years ago. We had a limited program," he said. "We're going to continue to move the plan forward and see what emerges from Topeka in terms of (state) funding. That will tell the tale."

Weseman said the school board had been warm to the idea of full-day kindergarten across the district, but a lack of funding has been the issue.


Todd 11 years, 9 months ago

How's about full-time kindergarten for decades instead of a library expansion?

Staci Dark Simpson 11 years, 9 months ago

Kindergarteners don't need to go to school all day!! They are small children who need time to play as well. Kids are already burdened with way too much homework. I see 4th graders with more homework than I had in Jr High. I teach kindergarteners at my church and half a day is good enough, that is about all their attention span is good for. Maybe it is because more parents work now and don't want to pay for day care.

outoftowner 11 years, 9 months ago

These "small children" are required to know so much by the time they get to Kindergaten already! spacystaci, don't you think they incorporate playtime in their day? There are many schools in my rural area already going full day kindergarten, and there are not many, if any complaints from the kids or parents. How much is "too much" to spend on our kids' education? Also, I don't think it's fair to put the blame on parents not wanting to pay daycare. When my daughter went to daycare 1/2 day and kindergarten 1/2 day I still had to pay for a full day of daycare because she ate lunch there. I would have rather she been in school because at least while there, she was learning something!

Staci Dark Simpson 11 years, 9 months ago

We are just in a different day and age. I teach my child a lot at home. At 3 he already knows colors, shapes, alphabet and some basic Spanish. I guess I am lucky that I get to stay home and make sure he gets a head start. I just think kids get way too much pressure on them at earlier ages. You grow up fast enough already why rush it.

outoftowner 11 years, 9 months ago

Your child is lucky to have his mom stay home and teach him. I don't know for sure, but I'm thinking that is pretty rare. I have a 2nd grader, and a 6th grader, and I am so thankful the 6th grader doesn't need help with his math homework! I look at the papers he brings home with all the geometry etc, and I just cringe! It's pretty bad too when he looks at his sisters homework and says, "we did that in 3rd or 4th grade. How quickly times are changing.

trueninetiesgirl 11 years, 9 months ago

i am all for all day kindergarden. do what we did take a nap at school.and stop letting them out at 1:30 on wednesdays.

Todd 11 years, 9 months ago

There's no luck about being a stay-at-home Mom. It's a choice. Like all choices it takes planning and has trade offs.

spacystaci, the stuff you're teaching your child isn't getting them ahead... it's the minimum now. The other kids that don't know all that will be behind and will probably never catch up.

outoftowner, the fact you can't do elementary school homework is embarrassing for you personally. Don't transfer that "it's okay not to be smart" attitude to your children. Children raise to the level of your expectations.

Kindergarten isn't required in Kansas. If it goes to all day you don't have to send your child. (which in turn reduces costs to the county)

outoftowner 11 years, 9 months ago

Todd, my son is an A/B+ student, and I graduated with Honors, nothing to be embarassed about here. Some of the math he brings home is Geometry. That wasn't one of my stronger subjects, and not something I use in my every day work, so of course it hasn't remained fresh in my memory. I don't remember saying I came off as "it's ok not to be smart" to my children. But hey, thanks for the put down. It makes you look smart too ~ like me! And yes, I believe there is a little luck involved in being a stay at home mom. You're right about one thing, it's a choice, and I choose not to be on welfare.

tyson 11 years, 9 months ago

I have a suggestion to the funding...What about fundraisers. Depending on how many children we are talking about fundraisers are a great way to raise necessary funds to keep schools running. Of course I am a little biast since I own and operate a candle company that specializes in fundraisers but this is a good way to help.

Staci Dark Simpson 11 years, 9 months ago

We have definitely made trade offs. We drive older vehicles, which luckily my husband knows how to work on. We are forced to be more creative with our entertainment but I definitely feel its worth it to be home with my son. But I am constantly on my toes to teach him new stuff and find new things to stimulate his brain. I am with you out of towner, if my hubby didn't have a good job or I was single, staying home wouldn't even be an option.

Todd 11 years, 9 months ago

Ugh... you choose who you marry. You and your spouse choose what careers to pursue. It's all related.

If you choose to develop skills that don't translate into money then it isn't luck that you earn less money. It's the direct result of your choice.

On topic... I think we should have all day kindergarten and end that short Wednesday business. KS is way behind on early childhood education.

mert1717 11 years, 9 months ago

I am all for my child going to all day Kindergarden.

I know that all day school doesn't mean that it is non-stop classes all day. They usually incorporate playtimes and restimes inside all of this. Kindergarden is set up to prepare our children for 1st grade. Any benefit that helps them prepare for that I am all for.

Remember technology and the world are always changing.

Would you rather your child get a little extra education pressure now, or wait until they grow up. Then they can go out into the real world and get beat out of a job from a person from another country who's schooling system wasn't afraid to push thier children a little more.

I don't claim to know it all or to be well educated but I do understand all people need to be challenged in order to grow, and that goes for children and adults.

EvaTrujillo 11 years, 9 months ago

There are provisions for half-day kindergarten like day-care for parents who work outside the home. For early dismissal Wednesday students, there are very little provisions. So this means students have nothing to do every Wednesday from 1:30ish until 5ish whose parents work outside the home. Childhood predators know this about Lawrence, Kansas, USA. Keep your students off of Xanga and other websites cause that's where they look for clues. Where's Phill Kline when we need him? School should be from 9 to 4 with plenty of calisthentics for everyone. Students should eat in class, and everyone should clean at the end of the day. Ever look at the stats for Lawrence, KS schools? The ones that start later are the ones with higher scores. MMMM? Adequate sleep helps.

Richard Heckler 11 years, 9 months ago

This all day kindergarten could be a good thing so long as they include plenty of art and music. Chilren love it and learn from it.

Make it a parents' choice not mandatory.

hockmano 11 years, 9 months ago

My children have attended public school here for nine years. My older daughter attended all day kindergarten in Kansas City and it was a very positive experience. I too, think each parent should have the right to choose.What ever happened to putting the children's needs first? I wish this district would quit checking their pocketbook and take care of the students individually.

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