Monday, October 31, 2016

An Analysis of the Advantages of Full Day Kindergarten

Posted By on Mon, Oct 31, 2016 at 4:44 PM

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Funding full day kindergarten across the state is back in the news. This being Arizona, the discussion is a mix of the reasonable, the semi-reasonable, the semi-ridiculous and the totally ridiculous. Whether anything will come of it, whether the legislature is willing to commit about $200 million of new money to the enterprise—money that isn't stolen from some equally valuable program—is in doubt. But it's good to see people are talking.

Over at Blog for Arizona, Linda Lyon does a better job discussing the issue than I could hope to. Read her excellent post, In Defense of Full-Day K. As an added bonus, at the end of the post, former Ed Supe John Huppenthal chimes in with a comment citing a study which, he claims, explains to her why she's partly right but not as well informed as she should be. After which, I quote another source which discusses the limitations of the study Huppenthal cites.

I can't resist adding one footnote from Howard Fischer's article on the subject. Full day kindergarten was funded in 2005 when Democrat Janet Napolitano was governor. She made a horse trade, giving Republicans the 10 percent cut in state income taxes they wanted in return for full day kindergarten. So far so good. But when money got tight in 2009, the Republican-majority legislature pulled the funding for full-day K, but it held onto the 10 percent tax cut, which, apparently, it figured it still could afford. For Arizona Republicans, investing in children's educations, and their futures, is something of a yawn. But, to paraphrase segregationist George Wallace's words, "Tax cuts now, tax cuts tomorrow, tax cuts forever."

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