Bill received overwhelming bipartisan support in the House and Senate
(May 21) – Today, Gov. Jared Polis signed a bipartisan bill by Rep. Barbara McLachlan, D-Durango, and Rep Jim Wilson, R-Salida, to fund full-day kindergarten. The upcoming state budget proposes funding full-day kindergarten in a responsible, sustainable manner. The program is set to begin this Fall.
“Full-day K is coming to a school near you beginning this Fall. This is an historic moment for kids, parents and our state, and this program will provide important benefits for hardworking families for years to come. Full-day kindergarten will put Colorado kids all across our state on the path to success,” said Rep. McLachlan. “Access to early childhood education is the best gift we can provide to our young learners.”
Many young students lack access to full-day kindergarten, despite research showing they will benefit significantly from this learning experience.
While a large number of Colorado schools have increased access to full day kindergarten over time despite inadequate funding, there are still 14,000 children without access to this important educational resource. Those who lack access often face some of the steepest obstacles to affording the tuition that is charged in many districts or live in communities that cannot afford to cut resources from other parts of the K-12 budget to offer a free full-day experience. Increased state funding would help open doors to a research-proven strategy to improve children’s academic and life success.
An added benefit of funding full-day kindergarten is the complementary freeing up of more than 5,000 Early Childhood At-Risk Enhancement (ECARE) slots in the Colorado Preschool Program for young learners.
Full day kindergarten would go into effect beginning in Fall 2019.