All Day Kindergarten

woodleywonderworks via Flickr CC / https://flic.kr/p/5p1N5a

A New Hampshire House subcommittee voted Wednesday to eliminate $18 million dollars in kindergarten funding from Gov. Chris Sununu’s state budget proposal. 

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More than half of New Hampshire districts have full-day kindergarten. Now a new bill would double state aid for this. But some local officials say that wouldn't go nearly far enough. Meanwhile, some lawmakers are unsure whether the state should make this commitment or focus on other issues.


Jason Moon for NHPR

New Hampshire has long lagged behind other states when it comes to the availability of full-day kindergarten. Legislators are likely to take up the issue this year, as they have in years past. But the ideas being debated in Concord this year likely won’t change the situation for school districts who can’t already afford to offer a full-day kindergarten program.

Woodley Wonderworks via Flickr CC

Town meeting season is upon us, and a number of school districts around the state are considering adding full day kindergarten.

Voters in Dunbarton will consider a 75 thousand dollar proposal to create a conditional full-day kindergarten program. Conditional meaning when enrollment in other grades leaves enough room for a kindergarten class.

Dunbarton’s half-day program has only eight students now, but school officials are confident that expanding to full-day will bring in students currently attending private full-day programs.

Woodley Wonderworks via Flickr CC

  Lawmakers in Concord yesterday killed a bill that would provide money for full-day kindergarten programs in the state. The vote of 157-200 was along party lines.

Currently, the state provides adequacy funding for half-day kindergarten programs only. While the bill would not have required districts to offer full-day programs, it would have provided additional state dollars to those districts that already provide them.

Sponsors of the bill argue the state should fund kindergarten at the same level as other grades.

Opponents of the bill cited cost.

Allegra Boverman for NHPR

As part of our series, "The First Decade," Gov. Maggie Hassan sat down with NHPR's Morning Edition host Rick Ganley to talk about what role she sees state government playing in helping to close the opportunity gap.

Sam Evans-Brown / NHPR

Kindergarten is a year of transition. Kids are learning how to listen, follow directions, sit still... but while they are making that transition, there’s a lot of mandatory wiggling.

In Mr. Woody’s morning kindergarten class, in Plainfield, a class of students blows off some steam while doing a “wiggle dance.” A stereo plays a children’s song that Mr. Woody sings along to, and the kids giggle and flail.