More Students to Receive State-Funded Full-Day Kindergarten
OLYMPIA — August 3, 2015 — A total of 359 additional schools in 139 school districts across the state will begin receiving state funding for full-day kindergarten in the next school year. These new schools increase the total number of schools providing state-funded full-day kindergarten to 847 in 261 districts.
The state Legislature approved the additional funding in its most recent legislative session. These new funds raise the number of kindergarten students eligible to receive funding, from 43.75 percent (35,349 students) in the 2014–15 school year to approximately 72 percent (58,833 students) in 2015–16.
“Setting students up with a solid foundation in kindergarten helps them as they move through school,” said State Superintendent of Public Instruction Randy Dorn. “State funding of full-day kindergarten is an important part of basic education.”
As the state continues to increase funding for full-day kindergarten, schools with the highest percentage of low-income students are eligible to receive funding first. The number of state-funded full-day kindergarten classrooms is expected to reach 100 percent in 2016–17, a year before the Legislature’s goal of 2017–18.
Six school districts chose not to accept the funding for next school year because they did not have classroom space: Battle Ground, Blaine, Central Valley (Spokane), Mead, Mukilteo, and Pullman.
The additional funding allows schools to increase the number of hours of kindergarten from 450 hours a year to 1,000 hours. When accepting the funding, school districts agree to connect with early learning providers in the area, conduct the Washington Kindergarten Inventory of Developing Skills (WaKIDS) and offer a rich and varied curriculum.
For more information
The Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction (OSPI) is the primary agency charged with overseeing K–12 education in Washington state. Led by State School Superintendent Randy Dorn, OSPI works with the state’s 295 school districts and nine educational service districts to administer basic education programs and implement education reform on behalf of more than one million public school students.
OSPI provides equal access to all programs and services without discrimination based on sex, race, creed, religion, color, national origin, age, honorably discharged veteran or military status, sexual orientation, gender expression or identity, the presence of any sensory, mental, or physical disability, or the use of a trained dog guide or service animal by a person with a disability. Questions and complaints of alleged discrimination should be directed to the Equity and Civil Rights Director at (360) 725-6162 or P.O. Box 47200, Olympia, WA 98504-7200.
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