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Districts: Full-day kindergarten funds not enough

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Indiana Gov. Mitch Daniels' plan to allocate $47 million for full-day kindergarten in districts that don't offer it isn't likely to be enough to make that vision a reality, some districts say.

"He's trying to act like it's a big deal and this is wonderful and everybody's going to get full-day kindergarten. I don't believe that's going to be the case," said Nancy Farley, director of student services for Anderson Community Schools.

An upswing in state revenues prompted Daniels earlier this month to announce he was recommending the new state budget include an additional $150 million for K-12 education. About a fourth of that would be used to bring full-day kindergarten to the 25 percent of districts that don't currently offer it.

While the news was hailed by many, some districts say the money isn't enough to fund the full-day programs.

"Right now, today, sitting here, this means 20 additional dollars per student, but it's not a significant enough amount that changes our situation," Joel Martin, superintendent of Oak Hill United School Corporation in Grant County, told the Chronicle-Tribune in Marion.

Indiana does not require students to attend kindergarten. The state provides funding for half-day kindergarten programs and gives an additional amount for students in full-day programs. Those dollars are divided among all full-day kindergarten students across the state.

John Trout, Madison-Grant United superintendent, said districts get $2,951 per half-day kindergarten student. The current full-day grants provide an additional $1,030, but he said he would still be about $2,000 short of the cost to educate a student all day even with additional K-12 funding.

Farley contends the additional kindergarten funding will benefit more affluent districts that don't qualify for Title I funding.

She told The Herald Bulletin in Anderson that the state needs to make kindergarten mandatory, which would give districts more money.

District leaders say full-day kindergarten is a key tool in creating successful students.

"The sooner you start off, the better students they will be," said Michael Powell, superintendent of Mississinewa Community Schools.

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  • Yeah for the House
    Improving the capacity of our citizens to become better educated and to more easily access jobs, is a much better use of state funds than a tax payer refund, which would amount to a very small refund per person. I just hope our legislators - and Governor - put education funds to use for preschool.
  • Not enough? Too much.
    Here's a surprise: school districts complaining that they haven't been handed enough taxpayer money. I'd like to see the offices where the people who were quoted sit their well-padded backsides. My guess: leather judges' chairs, school-funded vehicle, district-supplied cell phone, and God knows what other perks. Take the $150K salaries out of the equation for these useless administrators, and I'm sure there's plenty to go around.

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  1. Those of you yelling to deport them all should at least understand that the law allows minors (if not from a bordering country) to argue for asylum. If you don't like the law, you can petition Congress to change it. But you can't blindly scream that they all need to be deported now, unless you want your government to just decide which laws to follow and which to ignore.

  2. 52,000 children in a country with a population of nearly 300 million is decimal dust or a nano-amount of people that can be easily absorbed. In addition, the flow of children from central American countries is decreasing. BL - the country can easily absorb these children while at the same time trying to discourage more children from coming. There is tension between economic concerns and the values of Judeo-Christian believers. But, I cannot see how the economic argument can stand up against the values of the believers, which most people in this country espouse (but perhaps don't practice). The Governor, who is an alleged religious man and a family man, seems to favor the economic argument; I do not see how his position is tenable under the circumstances. Yes, this is a complicated situation made worse by politics but....these are helpless children without parents and many want to simply "ship" them back to who knows where. Where are our Hoosier hearts? I thought the term Hoosier was synonymous with hospitable.

  3. Illegal aliens. Not undocumented workers (too young anyway). I note that this article never uses the word illegal and calls them immigrants. Being married to a naturalized citizen, these people are criminals and need to be deported as soon as humanly possible. The border needs to be closed NOW.

  4. Send them back NOW.

  5. deport now

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