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House of Representatives
Session of 2015 - 2016 Regular Session


Posted: February 10, 2015 10:57 AM
From: Representative Michelle F. Brownlee
To: All House members
Subject: Amending the Public School Code to provide for full-day kindergarten
In the coming days, I plan to introduce legislation that, among other things, would amend the Public School Code to provide for full-day kindergarten.

Briefly, this legislative proposal would require the board of school directors of each school district to establish and maintain kindergartens for children between the ages of three and five years on a full-time basis by the 2018-2019 school year.

To facilitate the establishment of full-day kindergarten programs, the proposal outlines the powers and duties of the Department of Education (Department) and provides for the creation of a Full-Day Kindergarten Implementation Advisory Committee. The advisory committee would assist the Department with the development and implementation of a State Plan for full-day kindergarten, advise school districts on how to implement full-day kindergarten, and provide technical assistance and other resources to such school districts.

The State Plan for full-day kindergarten must include, among other things, a description of the full-day kindergarten program that will be developed; a statement of program goals; a description of how the Department will coordinate with existing State-funded and Federal-funded early-learning programs, such as Pre-K Counts and Head Start; a description of how the Department will involve representatives of approved providers of early-learning programs, and a comprehensive financial analysis.

As provided in the proposal, a school district would not be prohibited from offering full-day kindergarten jointly with another school district in the same intermediate unit or with an approved provider. Consequently, the State Plan would also outline the methodology school districts could use to develop strategies for partnering with philanthropic and private sector investors to secure private-sector capital to fund full-day kindergarten programs.

Numerous studies have concluded that early childhood education is essential to ensuring school readiness and enhances the cognitive, social, emotional and physical development. That is the primary reason I believe that full-day kindergarten should be implemented as a formal component of basic education. Accordingly, I thank you in advance for joining me as a sponsor of this legislative proposal.

If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact me in my Harrisburg Office at (717) 787-3480.

Introduced as HB754