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Archive for Wednesday, March 15, 2006

School board is all for all-day kindergarten

March 15, 2006

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In Kansas, about half the state's school districts have all-day kindergarten. Lawrence does not.

That may soon change.

"What we're doing now - half-day kindergarten - doesn't work for most people," said Rich Minder, a Lawrence school board member and head of the Success by 6 Coalition of Douglas County.

It's inconvenient for working parents who've struggled to find all-day child care, and it's a step backward for those who've taken advantage of early education programs.

"Here we are - piecing these systems together, getting kids ready to learn - and then what do we do?" he said. "We take them out of these (all-day) programs and put them in half-day kindergarten."

Until 2001-02, the Lawrence district had all-day kindergarten at Cordley, Kennedy, New York, Riverside and East Heights schools.

Budget pressures forced the district to cut classes back to half-day in 2002-03.

Today, board members want all-day kindergarten in every elementary school.

"Everybody's for it," Minder said. "It's hard to imagine any of my colleagues arguing against it."


New York school kindergarten teacher Rita Jones works with students, from left, Tyler Talwyma, Casey Singleton and Lucas Griffith. Budget cuts forced the Lawrence school district five years ago to do away with one if its most popular programs: all-day kindergarten. Now board members are looking hard to bring it back districtwide.

New York school kindergarten teacher Rita Jones works with students, from left, Tyler Talwyma, Casey Singleton and Lucas Griffith. Budget cuts forced the Lawrence school district five years ago to do away with one if its most popular programs: all-day kindergarten. Now board members are looking hard to bring it back districtwide.

The problem is funding. Switching from half- to all-day kindergarten would cost the district almost $1 million.

No one knows whether the Legislature will funnel that kind of money into the district's budget for 2006-07.

"It's not there now, that's for sure," said board member Cindy Yulich. "But there are other ways to make it work."

Proposals being considered, Yulich said, include:

¢ Phasing in all-day kindergarten over one to five years, starting with the elementary schools with the most at-risk students - Broken Arrow, Cordley, Hillcrest, Kennedy, New York, Pinckney and Woodlawn.

¢ Offsetting the district's costs by charging kindergartners' parents a monthly fee - between $109 and $154. Low-income families would be exempt.

"Going fee-based would work," Yulich said. "I think parents would snap it up."

There's not much to decide, she said, until after the Legislature comes up a school finance plan for 2006-07.

"I can't remember the last time we had a budget number by May 1," said Supt. Randy Weseman.

Weseman has warned that if the district doesn't know its state-aid numbers by mid-May, it would be hard-pressed to start all-day kindergarten in the fall.

According to district projections, next year's enrollment is expected to include 701 kindergartners. The district would have to hire 17 additional kindergarten teachers to make an all-day program.

Not every school would be able to accommodate additional students. Some kindergartners at Hillcrest, Sunflower, Sunset Hill, and Woodlawn likely would be bused to Centennial, New York or Langston Hughes schools.

Janice Nicklaus, executive director for educational programming for the district, said it's likely parents would want the option of half-day kindergarten.

"Some, I suspect, would choose half-day because they feel their children are not ready for that much academic activity in a day or that they need their rest time in the afternoon," she said.

Sherry Emerson's twins, now first-graders at Broken Arrow, were in half-day kindergarten last year.

"I actually preferred it," said Emerson, who's PTA president at Broken Arrow. "I think it's an easier transition, going from half-day kindergarten to first grade."

Others, she said, can hardly wait.

"Oh, I think all-day kindergarten is a great idea if the facilities are there - they're not at Broken Arrow," she said. "As of right now, if we went to all-day kindergarten, it would mean using a portable (classroom). That's fine, I guess, but it would be less than ideal."

Comments

bankboy119 8 years, 9 months ago

Dad, did it ever occur to you that some mothers like to stay at home? My wife has the luxury to stay home because we do not have to have a second income. She works part-time because she chooses to and to have some extra spending money. Yes we could send our child to daycare and she could make more than it would cost but that is not something that we choose to do. It isn't necessarily about money and you are extremely naive to believe that it is in all cases.

As for your point about "smarter, better prepared children" I went to 1/2 day kindergarten and 1st grade and was ahead of many other students. I was homeschooled for the next 2 years and that's how I became smarter and better prepared. After I went back I was at least 1 year ahead of the rest of the kids in my class in every subject. I was "smarter and better prepared" because my mother chose to stay at home and work on developing my brain instead of chasing that next dollar.

Kathleen Christian 8 years, 9 months ago

For the state it would have to be savings: BECAUSE the state already pays for hundreds of kindergarten age children to attend daycare. Take that money and put it into all-day kindergarten - that would cut down that expense (which in comparison to all-day school is most likely a savings.)

There said my piece!!

Confrontation 8 years, 9 months ago

Oh my God!!! What are they thinking? Who would ever want their kids to be MORE educated?! Little kids can stay at home and get their degrees in television and video games. I went to all day kindergarten, and I survived. For those who say their kids can't handle this much, then those kids need to be in special ed. What's wrong with having a kid become exhausted after a day of learning and physical activity? The U.S. is already extremely far behind most other nations in education. Apparently, some parents in Lawrence are okay with the "dumbing down" of education.

crazy 8 years, 9 months ago

Kids need their parents more than they need school. Maybe if parents could teach their children beginning skills at home, it wouldn't be so much pressure on the schools. Sometimes I wonder why people have kids???

stbaker 8 years, 9 months ago

I agree with the man cited in the article that half-day kindergarten should be offered as well as full-day. I know the community believes that full-day is needed, but I am not so keen on sending my child to full-day kindergarten. I would like to enjoy having her home with me for a majority of the day for that one more year.

Oh...And for those who suggested that all-day K would allow the parent to go out and get a job to earn $$ to pay for school: What if there are other children still at home? And let's not forget that money does not improve our quality of life. I feel sorry for you if you think that is true. For me, spending time with family improves my quality of life... Reading leisurely improves my quality of life...Being able to enjoy the nice day outside improves my quality of life. Earning more money allows us more time to obsess about where we're going to spend it, however it does not improve quality of life.

Why are people on these comment boards so eager to be experts on everybody else's lives?

stbaker 8 years, 9 months ago

Scout Dad: Perhaps you misinterpreted what I said. By keeping my child at home for the extra 4 hours a day that full day kindergarten would require, I would not be robbing her of any learning experience. It certainly doesn't mean that we contain them in a bubble without any opportunity for learning. Isn't she going to be in full day school the following year? And I can guarantee that she is going to learn more with a 1:2 teacher/student ratio than 1:15 or 1:20. My post was to point out that full-day Kindergarten should be an option, not mandatory.

Confrontation 8 years, 9 months ago

Everyone keeps saying that 5 years old is too young for full-day classes. If we started school at 6 years old, then people would say the same thing. Many of us went to all-day K, and we didn't get exhausted and have nervous breakdowns. Really, we let kids sit on their butts and watch too much tv, then we wonder why American kids are dumb and overweight. Let the kid get exhausted from thinking.

Sporg 8 years, 9 months ago

I love these discussions, what was the issue again? OH yeah, "my way is better than yours" or was it "you should all do it this way" or maybe... blah blah blah... In the end it doesn't matter, a decision will be made "for the good of the community" and we will all have to go by it. Holy S, I just realized, this was about something for the kids. Good points, by the way, on questioning where money is being spent.

I am adding nothing of value with this post... O&A party rock, punching out...

zip2play 8 years, 9 months ago

"Some kids need the extra help from the school district because their parents both have to work, some kids get help from an at-home parent."

I personally take offense to this. I am a working MOM and I work hard during the day and at night, I work hard with my children. I give my children the help you are stating that only an at-home parent would do. It isn't just "working parents" that are not willing to work with a child to help with education. I have seen plenty of children who has a parent that stayed at home with them that is terribly behind. My child is not behind or lacking. We read at our house constantly and work on homework. I am there 100% for my child and his education my job doesn't hinder me from doing that. I wouldn't allow that to happen.

This isn't a stay at home or working parent debate. This is about allowing our children the same educational exposure that most other states have. The U.S. is extremely behind compared to other countries. It is funny, in most of those other countries education is considered a privilage, NOT at given right!

Nikki May 8 years, 9 months ago

kindergarten isn't mandatory in the state anyway.

Todd 8 years, 9 months ago

Kansas doesn't respect early childhood education. Children aren't even required to attend school until the 1st grade. Other states are attempting PK-4 while Kansas still has 1/2 day kindergarten.

Richard Heckler 8 years, 9 months ago

It's too bad our legislature is less consistent than the weather.

Over fifty years ago kindergarten was an assumed part of life. So long as it is not mandatory I say go for it. Art,music,dance,reading and healthy food should keep them busy.

Perhaps a little information revealing to these youngsters that mideastern people are generally as peaceful as anyone else. This would seem a good age to introduce some world culture regarding other human beings.

Nikki May 8 years, 9 months ago

I'm sorry, I'm not low income, but by no means rich. Sure, paying to go to kindergarten at the suggested price is cheaper than daycare, but I'd not afford that. If I wanted to send my child to school where I paid a monthly fee, I'd send them to a private school.

bankboy119 8 years, 9 months ago

mideastern people are generally as peaceful as anyone else? What does that have to do with kindergarten?

Of course the schoolboard will be all for it; they would get more money.

Hawkman 8 years, 9 months ago

The School board would not get more money, bankboy. Since it is a half day program, that is all the state currently supports. The additional money would have to come from general fund money and reduce what is available for teacher raises and other increased expenses.

commuter 8 years, 9 months ago

I must be really observant or something. When ever the adminsitration says they are going to do something it seems like it will costs or save million dollars.

Close Riverside, Centennial and east Heights save a million bucks.

It is too bad these adminsitrators and school board members can't actually prove it.

For example, with the closing of the three schools. They said we would save a million dollars from teachers, utilities, upkeep and other costs.

With the exception of Riverside, the district still owns the building and uses utilities. They didn't fire teachers or principals when the schools closed. they were absorbed because of teachers retiring, getting out of teaching, moving into admin positions or getting better paying teaching jobs. The decrease wasn't because of the cuts but was through attrition. These were additional costs the school district didn't have to incur.

For once I would like someone in the admin to maybe come up with a different number and show some creativity. Maybe even try to explain tehir position and prove it.

Marcy McGuffie 8 years, 9 months ago

"Some kindergartners at Hillcrest, Sunflower, Sunset Hill, and Woodlawn likely would be bused to Centennial, New York or Langston Hughes schools."

Hmmm. Am I missing something? Didn't Centennial CLOSE a few years back? ;)

Shardwurm 8 years, 9 months ago

While most families these days have moved to two incomes out of necessity not everyone has to do it.

I agree that the program should be voluntary. In today's society, however, I believe that parental selfishness would mean that 98 percent would take advantage of 'free' daycare at the school, even if they aren't working.

mollysoph 8 years, 9 months ago

SMELLS LIKE FREE DAYCARE? What do you think happens in kindergarten? Take a look at the curriculum kindergarten teachers need to cover in half a day. There is not a free moment in a kdg. classroom. Children are busy working on phonemic and phonological awareness, number concepts, learning social skills necessary to make them functioning members of society, work habits and study skills and learning to read! Money spent on the children of the state of Kansas is not "money to waste away" and your inability to understand the necessity of education for our little ones, especially in all day kindergarten is an embarrassment. Do a little research, and spend some time thinking before you mouth off about what you THINK happens in a kindergarten classroom.

meburr 8 years, 9 months ago

mollysoph is correct. The curriculum the state hands down to kindergarten teachers is based on full day attendance, which most of the state is. Our kids suffer as they cram as much as they can into 3 hours, except for the early out Wed, where they only go for 2 hours. When the kids make it to 2nd & 3rd grade they are telling us our kids are behind other kids in the state, let's look at the beginning they received if they are not in full day kindergarten. Making parents pay for an additional 3 hours is not "free daycare." It's absurd how much we currently pay for school fees. My two elementary children fees are double what a neighboring district charges for 2 high school students. I would love to see the breakdown of how they come up with this added 1 million expense.

zip2play 8 years, 9 months ago

I have to agree with mollysoph, Free Daycare? What is up with that? The ciriculum that Kindergarteners follows is the same as other states that have full day kindergarten. Our children are at a huge disadvantage not having to be there full day. We test them to monitor that they meet the levels of other children over the country, but we only offer them 1/2 of the education that other states offer. Let's face it, Wednesdays are a joke. I mean for 2 hours and 20 minutes, what can be done? Our kindergarteners go through reading testing at least 3 times a year. It is really unfair for our poor kindergarteners.

I would also like to comment that "phasing it in" over 5 years and allowing some schools to have it and not others is not a good option. I know the schools listed are "at risk" but what message does that send? I think there are plenty of "at risk" students at each school.

All day kindergarten, in my opinion, is a no brainer! We owe it to our kids to provide them the best education we can! I personally would happily pay for my child to go. But I think there are many parents that would not be able to swing it. A better funding option may be necessary!

BabysMomma 8 years, 9 months ago

From a purely practical standpoint, I'm kind of worried about the all-day aspect of k-garten just b/c kids that age can get so tired out... Obviously it'll be great from a learning standpoint.

I'm sure ALL you people posting on here are doing the best you can and are great parents - so - why not live and let live? There are about a billion ways to parent (one of the newer verbs) and it's not like any one way is "right." It's such a downer when potentially interesting conversations devolve into such he-said/she-said DRAMAS.

alm77 8 years, 9 months ago

mollysoph - right on. My daughter was in kindergarten last year and my oldest son is this year. My kid is exhausted when he gets home from AM kindergarten and the curriculum is just getting tougher as they phase in the "No Child Left Behind" requirements. This is exactly why I don't want whole day kindergarten. Kindergarten is TOUGH. He's the youngest in his class and still needs his afternoon nap. My youngest son will be ready for kindergarten in 4 years and I think the transition from being home all day to being at school for a full day would be hard. Half day kindergarten has helped my other children to be ready for the full days of 1st grade.

kansaskev61 8 years, 9 months ago

All day kindergarten means less time the parents have to spend actually parenting their children. Let the tax payers raise them. Let's see, all day kindergarten, then afterschool daycare, McDonalds for dinner and then turn on the TV as the evening babysitter. As a parent packing a sack lunch and kissing them goodnight should do it.

76_IH_Scout_Dad 8 years, 9 months ago

Punkrockmom - I may not know your exact situation, but all the same I believe your point doesn't add up. Am I correct in assuming that you stay at home with your children?. If you had an all day kindergarten to send your kid to, wouldn't that free you up to work somewhere part time, maybe full time depending on the hours of the school, your work, husbands work hours. I'm willing to bet you could earn more than enough to pay for the all day kindergarten and have some left over to improve your overall quality of life. I don't see any negatives for you. One last point, $109-$154 is the estimate from the article that would be passed onto the parents of kids who went to all day kindergarten. My kid is in preschool now, and we've checked on others, and preschool costs right around this same number $110-$125 a month. And most preschools are only 3 or 4 days a weeks, for 2 to 4 hours, not all day. I feel that even at $154 a month, it's a bargain, kids are in school all day, freeing up a parent to have some time available to work, also, parents with kids in school all day should expect a lower rate from a day care provider. After school care is typically cheaper than all day, naturally. Once again, thinking this through, financially this should help most parents. Plus, we should be smarter, better prepared children.

SAHM2tylrnathan 8 years, 9 months ago

Optional, optional, optional! Some kids will benefit from all-day K, some will not be ready for the intensity of the experience. Some kids need the extra help from the school district because their parents both have to work, some kids get help from an at-home parent. Our district will start offering optional all-day K next year with all students attending in the morning and all-day kids staying after lunch. It would have worked well for my older kindergartner (turned 6 in Sept.) but I am not sure how ready my younger son will be when he turns 5 a year from June.

We have a chance to go to the first year of district-provided "free" preschool next year, but we will be sending my 4-year-old to the same 2-morning a week program that he attended this year. The district program for 4-year-olds is 5 days a week, 3.25 hours a day (that's basically half-day K and too much for my kid at this point in development) and done that way to take advantage of an available funding stream, not necessarily because it's what's best for kids. Four-year-olds have to go in the afternoon, which doesn't cut it for the kids who function better with a nap every day or two.

As for cheaper daycare rates, I doubt it. Daycare providers are not allowed to have more kids than they are licensed for, and even if that child is in school for most of the day, the provider still has to hold a spot before and after school. They won't give up that spot for cheap if they can find another child to fill it all day. Parents may still have to pay the full rate or risk losing their spot.

I don't know what to think about the whole "better prepared" argument. There are plenty of Rhodes Scholars, Phi Beta Kappas, and CEOs who went to half day K (or didn't even go, I suppose, since it is not even required in this state). If the learning that takes place in half-day K is being reinforced at home (I'm pretty sure I never had homework in kindergarten, but my son brings home short reading assignments) through creative and educational play and activities, I think they'll be right where they need to be when first grade rolls around.

If all day K is the only option, will parents who were already considering holding a child back be even more likely to do so? If they aren't ready for a half day, I can't imagine that a whole day would be very appealing.

76_IH_Scout_Dad 8 years, 9 months ago

Bankboy119 VERY FUNNY! I agree that money isn't the most important thing in life, but that opinion coming from someone who's handle is BankBoy just struck me funny. Keep in mind also I was trying to address punkrockmom's logic, not a general, broad brush statement that every kid should go to full day kindergarten so there parents can go to work and earn money. Also, let me point out this, if you feel as a child you were "smarter, better prepared child" why do you think that was? Because you spent more time with your mother getting educated!!! Of course a child who only goes to 1/2 day kindergarten but spends the other half of the day getting home schooled is going to be better prepared than a child who only is educated for 1/2 the day. That's the argument for full day kindergarten! Don't kid yourself, you where very lucky to have a family that could home school you and prepare you so well for adulthood. A lot of parents don't have the necessary skills to do that, and perhaps a full day kindergarten is the best opportunity for there children.

And another thing, why are you coming down on me when you and your wife are doing exactly what I advised Puckrockmom?? I suggested that during the time her children where away at school she could work and improve her quality of life. I assume that your wife isn't taking your kids with her to her part time job, and doesn't that extra "fun" money improve the quality or your lives?

bankboy119 8 years, 9 months ago

ScoutDad, sorry I think we were saying the same thing but I took it the wrong way. I was taking it as you were saying she should go get a job and put her kid in school and my wife chose to stay home because that is what she wanted to do. I don't look at it that it improves the quality of our lives because it is only 50-100 per week. But...I'm not the one who gets to spend it either haha. So it could for her. She does get to take our daughter with her too. She only works about 8 hours per week so it's kind of hard to count it as a part-time job. She does it to get to know other moms and just ger her out of the house. I get what you're saying though.

As for parents who say they are not able to teach their kids, it is not that difficult. You can take your children on much more exciting field trips than they get at school and you would be surprised by what you do know. If any of you have young children in the system now I urge you to take a look at the curriculum they are using. Their phonics are awful. The math curriculum is terrible. Your kids are getting frustrated and confused and if you are trying to help them I assume you are too. The material that is available to you to teach your children from is unending. By getting 1 on 1...or if you have multiple children 1 on 2 or so on, your children are getting a much better education.

betti81 8 years, 9 months ago

Let me start by saying I am not a parent, YET. It just struck me that Lawrence did not have all day K. I was not aware of that, I guess I just figured it was a given. I am torn on the issue as far as if I were a parent currently. I am a middle child who cried everyday when my sisters got the privilage of going to school (my mom is a reverse psychology expert) and would have given anything to have the opportunity to go to all-day everyday (including the weekends) kindergarten. I loved having friends and doing neat things. My mom happened to be a stay at home mom when I was pre-K (just by luck of the draw for me, she was not a stay at home mom for any of my other siblings). She tried to keep me entertained and educated, but nothing compared to school in my eyes.

That said, I went to all day, every other day kindergarten. I don't know if this is an option, but this particular school district saw this as a creative way to ease youngsters into an all day structured environment without tiring them out. I went mon-wed and every other friday. occasionally someone went on the wrong friday (myself included--which was awesome cause I got to meet new kids) but overall I thought it was a good way of doing things.

And I think some people are forgetting what it was like in kindergarten...I vividly remember taking a 30 minute nap after lunch recess every day I was there. That was the best part about the day other than snack and milk time and the 3 recesses.

I just think people should look at other options to solving this problem.

76_IH_Scout_Dad 8 years, 9 months ago

Stbaker, I'd love to spend the whole day with my kids too. As I'm sure you know, part of the responsibility of being a parent is providing not only the basic needs of clothing, shelter, food, but also to provide preparation for that child's adult hood. That includes discipline, love, guidance, and of course education. It's terribly selfish to keep your children out of a learning experience weather it's pubic or home school, just to have "one more year" with my little girl. To do that sets up your child for a life time of struggle.

Also, however you define "quality of life" your still dead wrong. Perhaps your financial picture is better than others, and you have all your bills caught up and have enough left over every month to do something others can't. Congratulations to you for that. But for many people a few extra hundred bucks a month will definitely improve there lives. You should also keep in mind that there are thousands of stay at home moms that are just dying for some new direction, to be something other than "just a mom". For them a few hours a day to explore a new interest, or employment venture means a significant boast to there self esteem, self worth, and mental health.

SAHM2tylrnathan 8 years, 9 months ago

"You should also keep in mind that there are thousands of stay at home moms that are just dying for some new direction, to be something other than "just a mom". For them a few hours a day to explore a new interest, or employment venture means a significant boast to there self esteem, self worth, and mental health."

Yeah, true, and there are millions of kids who miss spending time with a parent who needs to boost (not boast) his or her self esteem instead of spending that time with their kids. For those kids a few hours a day to explore the world or read with a parent means a significant boost to THEIR self-esteem, self-worth and mental health.

Right now, I am "just a mom" and I don't say that like it is a disease. Yes, I want to go back to work for my own gratification and a little more money, but not enough to turn my kids over to somebody else to raise when I don't monetarily have to. IF YOU HAVE THE CHOICE--and many, many people do not--I don't understand not choosing to spend the little time you get with your kids instead of at work. Work will be there forever, my kids are only little for a short time. TO THOSE PARENTS WHO MUST WORK TO KEEP A ROOF OVER YOUR HEADS AND FOOD ON THE TABLE, I AM NOT TALKING ABOUT YOU!

I guess I didn't phrase myself carefully enough to avoid the stay at home vs. working mom debate. There are, as was pointed out, parents who care enough to make it happen in both circumstances and parents who could care less in both. All I meant was that some working parents (obviously not those like zip2play) cannot make the day longer and have enough time to give their kids the extra educational push. More power to the folks who have to work and then choose to spend what little free time they get on their kids. These are the people who deserve a break, not us stay-at-homers.

And talk about spending time sitting on your butt--when my kids are home they get to run around the house, the backyard, the park. My kindergartner get 15 minutes of recess in 3 hours--no PE. All-day should get PE back, but don't count on the leisurely recesses we had in the 70s. The testing push is shortening activity time as well as time for art and music. My half-day kindergartner is reading at a first grade level and can use learning software that is designed for first and second graders. It doesn't all happen at school.

Keep it optional and let the parents decide what works. After all, once they hit 1st grade you either do it their way or home school. And to all parents, make sure you know what your kids are being taught and how much time they spend on any subject. And if you don't like it, speak up.

Nikki May 8 years, 9 months ago

76_IH_Scout_Dad, you are right, you don't know my situation. I only WISH I was staying home. I work days and my husband works evenings. We both have full time jobs. We however are leaving paycheck to paycheck. To many people, $100-$200 is alot of money. Could I swing it? Yes, I'd just change my budget ALOT. I'm saying, there are different views to this. I do understand daycare and preschool cost alot. Oh, and what's your proposal for stay at home parents that have younger kids?

I have so much to say on this topic, but I'm too tired (man, I shouldn't spend time with my kids at night, should turn on that tv for them and gotten online earlier. That's what people who want all day kindergarten want.) - sarcasm off

gabbygaberton 8 years, 9 months ago

I hardly think we should be rushing half-assed into all day kindergarten. The education of our kids is the future of our nation, and making things more convenient for parents who have their children in all day care is not a good reason to slap together a new plan for the education of our kids. Kindergarten is their first experience in an academic setting and I want my child' s experience to be positive, well organized, and with experiened teachers. How are we going to be well prepared to handle this when there is very little time to hire staff, arrange for proper accomodations, and get funding? I happen to know MANY parents who are NOT for this change, so maybe we should really mess up the budget by not enrolling our kindergarteners in public school at all, but either choose private school or wait until first grade until we let the schools recieve funding based on our child's enrollment. Kindergarten in the state of Kansas is not mandatory, and having to pay a monthly fee for it might make it unaffordable for some who don't qualify for low income status but who have younger children and live on a tight budget. They won't have the luxury of getting a job during the school hours.

alison7 7 years, 1 month ago

I understand that something definitely has to be done about the level of education, but is making all-day kindergarten mandatory really the way to go about it? Forcing parents to enroll their kids that much earlier can only detract from what they need to be learning from their parents. The most important life lessons are learned in the home, and taught by the parents. When parents are raising their children, they hope to teach to their children the same values and morals that the parents have themselves. That's what makes me agree that the parents need to be taken into account when making such a critical decision. This group of people will be majorly affected by it, and it seems like no one is considering what they think. One way to incorporate them would be to include the parents in the decision-making process when the school system is considering a full-day program. Including the parents in a school board meeting, for example, would be an ideal way for them to voice their opinions. This way the school systems could make a strong effort to accommodate people of various lifestyles, such as single and/or working parents. I'm not saying that they should try to please everyone, but that by working with the people, they could make a better decision regarding children's futures.

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