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BOE Urges State to Pay for Full Day Kindergarten

Metz Elementary Speaking with the voice of experience, the Westminster Public Schools Board of Education urged the Colorado legislature to make full day, tuition-free kindergarten available to students across the state. The board unanimously passed a resolution last month encouraging the state to follow the district’s practice of investing in early childhood education.

Under the state’s current formula, kindergarten students are only funded at about half the per pupil rate as other students. It means districts, like WPS, that choose to provide full day kindergarten must pay the difference from their general fund; it costs WPS about $1.3 million a year.

WPS has provided free, full day kindergarten for more than a decade.

If lawmakers approve a plan supported by Gov. Jared Polis to pay for full day kindergarten, WPS would be able to invest its additional dollars in providing more pre-school slots.  From the district’s perspective, it is money well spent.

Research has consistently shown that students who are able to read at or above grade level in third grade are more likely to succeed in school.