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Democrats Push for All-Day Kindergarten Funding

Although it may be too early to tell, Democrats in Minnesota's lawmaking bodies said their may not be enough money to fund all-day kindergarten and early-childhood programs throughout the state. Right now Minnesota only allows school districts enough funding for half-day kindergarten.

Statewide funding for all-day programs would cost $160 million per year, which is too expensive said Republican Gov. Tim Pawlenty. Pawlenty proposed a need-based scholarship option for low-income children seeking early-childhood or all-day kindergarten care.

The Democrats' goal for providing such early education is to close the achievement gap for low-income and minority students in Minnesota's school system. A sliding scale system was proposed by Democrats that provides allowances for early-childhood education based on a family's income. Offering the education to those who need it most would be part of phasing in an all-day kindergarten statewide.