According to NHPR, the agreement reached by a committee of House and Senate members to tie kindergarten funding to the online lottery game Keno might not have bipartisan support.
The bill provides an additional $1,100 in state adequacy funding per full-day kindergarten student. Currently, districts receive 50% of the state adequacy aid amount (about $1,800) regardless of whether it offers half- or full-day programs:
But the bill left the committee without the support of Democrats, including Senator David Watters, who wants to fund kindergarten at the same rate as other grades. That would cost an extra 1800 dollars per student.
“What’s unfortunate about this bill today, is that it ties it explicitly to keno. And if keno doesn’t produce enough revenue, then there’ll be no more than 1,100 dollars available for each student. It leaves families and taxpayers on the hook for kindergarten once again.”
Republican State Senator Jeb Bradley, who has been a strong supporter of funding for full-day kindergarten, said:
“While this isn’t everything that everybody would want, it’s a significant step forward. That’s how we do things in this building.”
The amended bill goes to the House and Senate for a vote next week.