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What do you think of all-day kindergarten in Lawrence?

Response Percent Votes
It needs to be in more than eight schools
66% 162
It’s too expensive
20% 50
It’s being implemented correctly
8% 22
4% 11
Total 245


Mandie Eutsler 10 years, 11 months ago

day care is expensive. for full-time care for two kids is roughly $1200 monthly. unless you want to trust your children to an in-home day care, you may save $150. while all day kindergarten will benefit some dual income families you really won't save much money on day care. some day care centers don't want to take half day kids because they lose money. so those of you ripping parents in favor of all day k, keep in mind it's really not much of a money issue as much as it is a good place to send you child for the better part of the day. most of these parents will still have to pay someone to watch them after school. besides it's so damn expensive to live in this town, where is all the tax money going? property tax is outrageous. this isn't exactly aspen or the hamptons. those of you bitching about the tax money spent on this program (didn't it come from the state anyway, and not the city?) maybe you should ask where the rest of you tax money goes.

Stew 10 years, 11 months ago

People need to be critical thinkers when considering the cost/benefit of this issue. The best way to think critically is to consider the research and not simply one's gut. For example, Stofflet (1998) found in the Anchorage School District's (1998) study of the long-term effects of full-day kindergarten no major long-term effects related to the length of the kindergarten day. Stofflet claims that it "is likely that, over the years, family background, individual study habits, and other school programmatic factors outweigh the 'kindergarten' factor." Further, Hildebrand (2001) in a study of 147 students in a Midwestern school district that compared full-day, half-day, and alternating full-day kindergarten found "no clear differential effects of kindergarten schedules" on either academic achievement or classroom social behaviors. Conversely, Weiss and Offenberg (2002) tracked 17,600 Philadelphia students from kindergarten into fourth grade and found that full-day kindergarten students had "significantly higher achievement scores in reading, math, and science, higher report card marks and better attendance" by third grade, although by fourth grade they had higher achievement in science only, and higher attendance. While there surely are several potential factors leading to the differences in these studies (e.g., poverty level of the youth) it is worth noting that the decrease in academic achievement beginning in the fourth grade found in Weiss and Offenberg (2002) study suggests that Stofflet's other factors my begin to play a role (e.g., .family background, individual study habits). Additionally, the factor of poverty level seems to be critical in the benefits of all-day kindergarten (e.g., Nielsen & Cooper-Martin, 2002).

The data raises several questions. One, how many poor kids does Lawrence have that will benefit at the cost the taxpayers will incur? It does not make sense to support a program that spends large amounts of money to help a few. Second, are people willing to let other individuals raise their kids at such a critical age when there appears to be little benefit other than not having to deal with day care or one parent staying at home? Finally, where is Lawrence's data. Lawrence had full-day kindergarten and then switched to half-day. Surely the school district could compare the kids that were in full-day and the kids that were in half-day and see if there are any academic differences or success in life differences.

In conclusion, it seems Lawrence is again playing follow the leader (i.e., do what other communities do) and specifically, the school board members are playing the popularity game. It seems none of the school board members or Lawrence parents willing to by into this additional expense have given this much critical thought or perhaps they have and the newspaper just did a poor job reporting when the story first came out. Perhaps the reporter of the original story should go back to kindergarten.

Tony Kisner 10 years, 11 months ago

I thought half day kindergarten was pretty hard, but all day would be brutal. Stew sure uses a lot of big words, he/she probably got to skip kindergarten.

canyon_wren 10 years, 11 months ago

Good job, Stew. These polls are so irritating as they really don't give you a thorough choice. Why don't they at least give you the chance to say you are totally opposed to the idea? I am definitely NOT undecided, but would not vote for one of the other choices, although it may well be that the program is too expensive.

I am aware that because so many homes are without an adult during the day, it is probably beneficial to SOME to have all-day kindergarten. Maybe it would be cheaper for everyone to just provide a voucher for half-day daycare for those kids and let the ones whose parents don't like the idea of all day kindergarten keep them at home. I certainly feel, as an educator and a mother, that children that age do not need to be in school all day. But fat chance we have of having our opinions considered!

jlw53 10 years, 11 months ago

I'm with Canyon wren. Kids need to be kids and their span of attention and energy level is not conducive to any more learning with the added time. This is just a ploy by some parents to get more free day care at the expense of the taxpayer and the teachers union that wants more positions comanding more money.

r4hawks 10 years, 11 months ago

I agree with both canyon wren and jlw53!!!!!!!!!!!!! Too bad such an issue, that taxpayers are forced to pay for, wasn't placed on the general election ballot for a city-wide vote. (Perhaps they knew what the results would have been)!!!!!! These monies could be much better spent in many areas!!!!

coneflower 10 years, 11 months ago

Not all children are emotionally and socially ready to be in school all day at age 5. Forcing them at this young age is not the answer. This is too much school, too soon.

stbaker 10 years, 11 months ago

Kindergarten is not mandatory. For the children attending all day K schools, a parent may choose to pick them up at half-day. They will miss out on part of the curriculum and whatever other activities that will occur during that time. I can guarantee that not all of the children attending all day K are children of two-income families, or two working parents...In fact many of the kids will come from homes with "stay-at-home" moms that are mentally intact, positive role-models and perhaps highly educated. Should we find some way to bash the stay-at-home moms (or dads) for allowing their children to attend all day K with the welfare-sucking poor folks who don't want to pay for daycare? Come on people. Get some other hobbies.

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