DENVER (CBS4)– Teachers have the responsibility of making sure students reach certain academic standards by the end of the school year. In Colorado, many kindergarten teachers only have half of that time.
The Colorado State Board of Education believes that full-day kindergarten would give teachers a better chance at success, and students a better chance in life. Board members agree that high quality kindergarten can help close opportunity and achievement gaps students could face later on.
They signed a resolution Thursday morning that supports Gov. Jared Polis’ plan to provide a stronger foundation for the youngest learners. Polis says statewide, all-day kindergarten will cost around $227 million.
That’s money some lawmakers would rather see somewhere else. The Board believes that money will eventually be spent on those children, one way or another.
“It’s pick your battles. Do you spend the money at the front end and get the job done? Or do a tremendous amount of remediation for our kids, or worse, later on?” said Board Chair Angelika Schroeder.
The State Board of Education supports the Strategic Plan of the Department of Education, which includes building a strong foundation to ensure that all students are reading by third grade.
“We know that by third grade, kids who are not reading proficiently are likely to be unprepared for the real world and may even end up in corrections,” said Schroeder.
The board also recognized that state-funded, full-day kindergarten would help parents financially, especially those who cannot afford full-day programs.