Sen. Feltes: Full day kindergarten "essential to closing the opportunity gap"

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The Concord Monitor reported on HB 1563, a bill that would fund full-day kindergarten programs in New Hampshire. Senator Dan Feltes (D, Concord), a co-sponsor on the bill, spoke to the Monitor about the importance of the bill and of early childhood education:

“The state should step up and help schools expand kindergarten to full day, because it’s the right thing to do,” said Concord Sen. Dan Feltes, a Democrat.

“Kindergarten is not half as important as first, second and third grade,” said Feltes. “It’s essential to help close the opportunity gap between low and middle income families and upper income families.”

Hopkinton Superintendent Steve Chamberlin said that full-day programs improve literacy skills and social development:

“Full-day kindergarten is an investment in the education of all kids,” he said.

While many districts offer full-day programs, the state funds districts for only a half-day, requiring the district to pay more of the remaining costs and probably making it more difficult to gain district approval for full-day kindergarten. HB 1563 would increase the total adequate education funding by $3.2 million in FY 2017 to cover the programs. Senator Feltes cosponsored SB 228, a similar bill, in the 2015 session that would have provided funding for full-day kindergarten programs, but it was tabled in March.

Read the full article here.