McLachlan-Wilson bill will help invest in Colorado’s future
(Mar. 22) – Rep. Barbara McLachlan and Rep. Jim Wilson, R-Salida introduced a bipartisan bill to fund full-day kindergarten for Colorado’s youngest learners. The budget from the Joint Budget Committee proposes funding full-day kindergarten in a responsible, sustainable manner.
“I am excited to introduce this bipartisan bill that will help our state’s youngest learners, especially in our rural communities,” said Rep. McLachlan, chair of the House Education committee. “As a former teacher I understand the benefits of full-day kindergarten and the importance of investing in our children’s future. I couldn’t be prouder to sponsor this legislation because of the profound benefits it will reap for the hardworking families of our state for many years to come.”
“This is great news for kids and parents across Colorado. Full-day kindergarten will help invest in young learners and break down barriers,” said Majority Leader Alec Garnett. “Our kids and our state can’t wait. Let’s get this done and start investing in our most precious resource – the next generation of Coloradans.”
Many young students lack access to full-day kindergarten but the research shows they will benefit from this learning experience.
While 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 slots in the Colorado Preschool Program for young learners.
The text of HB19-1262 can be found here.