April 5, 2019
State Board of Education supports full-day kindergarten legislation
DENVER – The Colorado State Board of Education today voted to support legislation that would provide state funding for full-day kindergarten throughout Colorado.
The board voted to support House Bill 19-1262, which provides funding through the school finance formula for full-day kindergarten programs. Under existing law, the state pays for only about a half-day of kindergarten and many school districts charge parents for their children to attend full-day classes.
"Supporting high quality early learning throughout the state has been a top priority of this board," said board Chairwoman Angelika Schroeder. "Giving our youngest students access to free, full-day kindergarten will build strong foundations for future academic success."
Board Vice Chairman Steve Durham says the board supports the legislation because it is a bipartisan approach that would finally fund full-day kindergarten in the state.
"This legislation will help families, many of whom have had to reach into their pocketbooks to provide full-day kindergarten for their children," Durham said. "We believe in giving students the strongest start possible to their academic careers."
The bill, which is sponsored by Reps. Jim Wilson, R-Salida, and Barbara McLachlan, D-Durango, is scheduled to be heard in the House Education Committee on Tuesday.
In January, the state board approved a resolution supporting Colorado Gov. Jared Polis' proposal to offer free, full-day kindergarten throughout the state. The board has long been supportive of early literacy initiatives to ensure that all students are reading at grade level by the end of third grade.