Lack of Funding Slows All-Day Kindergarten Proposal

A proposal in the Illinois legislature would require school districts to have at least one school with all-day kindergarten.

But no money means it could be quite some time before the measure gains any traction.

Advocates, like John Cusick of the Illinois Federation of Teachers, say kids with more early education gain several advantages later in life – like earning more money and being less likely to be a teen parent.

CUSICK: “No doubt society benefits and the individuals involved in early childhood education benefit from everything we can put into it. It pays off in the kids’ lives, it pays off in the long-term for society.”

Cusick backs a proposal before the Illinois House that would require every district in Illinois to offer all-day kindergarten.

The teachers’ union says most already do – but there are about 80 districts where it’s not offered.

He admits those schools probably don’t have all-day kindergarten because they don’t have the money.

Chicago Public Schools say its all-day program, scheduled to start in the fall, will cost $15 million alone.

The measure’s sponsor, Rep. Chris Welch (D-Hillside), says he plans to spend the rest of this year working on a funding source.

He says a few ideas are in the works, but also says “it’s too early to share them.”

—Chris Slaby

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One Response to Lack of Funding Slows All-Day Kindergarten Proposal

  1. Angelica says:

    CPS is requiring ALL elementary schools to have all day kindergarten next year. At the school my children attend, Peck Elementary, there are currently 8 half-day kindergarten classes offered. The school is overcrowded, and CPS is proposing putting 50 children in each kindergarten classroom next year!

    What is CPS planning to use that $15 million for? They need to use it to put mobile units at our overcrowded CPS schools, to handle all day kindergarten. Otherwise, CPS should back down, and only have all day kindergarten at schools that have facilities to handle it. It is inconceivable to even fit 50 students in a classroom. Illinois state law currently sets class size at 28, though CPS already goes above those numbers. It also violates fire codes. On top of that, think of the a child’s lack of ability to focus , as well as an environment in which learning is not likely to occur. If one of my children were entering kindergarten next year, I would refuse to put my child in a class of 50.

    Isn’t it ironic that CPS is closing 50 elementary schools, while other schools are overcrowded beyond belief and facing class sizes of 50 students next year? This is incomprehensible makes absolutely no sense!

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