By Lauren DiSpirito

FORT COLLINS, Colo. (CBS4)– This fall, the cost of full-day kindergarten for families in Fort Collins will increase by $200 a year, including registration fee. Enrollment for the 2016-2017 school year has already begun.

The bulk of the additional tuition collected will fund staffing, said Poudre School District Assistant Superintendent of Elementary Schools Todd Lambert.

“Keep in mind we have no interest in making money off our all-day kindergarten,” Todd said, “Our goal is to break even.”

The increase will put full-day kindergarten tuition at $2,500 per year for residents in Fort Collins.

(credit: CBS)

(credit: CBS)

Approximately 2,000 students attend kindergarten programs in the district each year. Lambert says nearly 70 percent of those students attend a full-day program.

While state funding covers the cost of half-day programs, districts themselves must cover 43 percent of what it takes to run a full-day program, including staffing and supplies. Most Colorado school districts pass at least some of that cost on to families.

“We’re trying to find that blend of what our costs are, but also recognizing the needs of our community, so we take tuition rates very seriously,” Lambert said.

Poudre schools already cover the cost of full-time kindergarten for about 25 percent of students whose families face significant financial hardship. Lambert says they’ll make scholarships and other aid available to other families burned by the tuition increase.

CBS4's Lauren DiSpirito interviews Todd Lambert, Assistant Superintendent of Elementary Schools, Poudre School District (credit: CBS)

CBS4’s Lauren DiSpirito interviews Todd Lambert, Assistant Superintendent of Elementary Schools, Poudre School District (credit: CBS)

This is the first increase on tuition rates in three years. A bill in the state legislature to offer full-time paid kindergarten was killed in session.

Lauren DiSpirito is CBS4’s Northern Newsroom reporter. Follow her on Twitter @CBS4Lauren. Share your story ideas with her here.

  1. Gail Fleming says:

    How can Colorado vote down tuition paid, full-day Kindergarten, when the state is making money hand over fist from pot sales?!!!! I am appalled that the State of Colorado can’t provide full-day Kindergarten as part of their public school program. I am a retired preschool teacher in Iowa, with a grandchild in Fort Collins. I know how critical early childhood education is, and with the standards for schools as high as they are these days, every child, and every parent deserves every possible break.

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