The topic of full-day kindergarten in Colorado came to the forefront this week as both the House and Senate Education Committees debated measures that seek to fully fund kindergarten programs. HB16-1022 by Rep. Jim Wilson (R-Salida) and SB-023 by Sen. Andy Kerr (D-Lakewood) would require a greater portion of the state’s budget be used to pay for full-day kindergarten. Currently, only half-day kindergarten is funded in Colorado, and parents or districts must cover the remaining costs.
Chelsea Henkel, Stand for Children’s Policy Manager, testified in support of Rep. Wilson’s bill noting the multiple benefits that full-day kindergarten provides. These include:
- Increased achievement on standardized tests;
- Improved early literacy skills;
- Reduced referrals for special education interventions; and
- Increased social-behavioral development.
Ultimately, HB16-1022 passed House Education on a vote of 7-3, while SB16-023 failed in Senate Education on a party-line 2-3 vote. Stand for Children’s Government Affairs team will continue monitoring HB 1022 and advocate in favor of this important legislation. While it is unlikely that HB 1022 will pass into law, it is essential that we promote the value of full-day kindergarten for our state’s youngest learners.
To view the story on CBS 4, click here.