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Senate of Pennsylvania
Session of 2015 - 2016 Regular Session


Posted: December 2, 2014 11:23 AM
From: Senator Wayne D. Fontana
To: All Senate members
Subject: Full Day Kindergarten
In the near future, I plan to introduce legislation that would require all school districts in the Commonwealth to provide full day kindergarten.

According to the Department of Education, each district in the state has offered a kindergarten program since 1992. Therefore, this legislation would simply codify the requirement in the School Code.

Pennsylvania is one of just five states in the nation that does not mandate kindergarten as part of curriculum. Time and time again research has shown the importance of early education in our student’s academic achievement and has also clearly proven itself to be a cost-cutter in the long run with regard to additional educational needs of both students and school districts.

Because each district already offers kindergarten programs, this legislation would not necessitate even the most financially strapped schools to come up with additional money. Many times when districts look to reduce programs due to budget constraints, the threat of eliminating kindergarten is proposed. Our children’s ability to participate in the first step of our K-12 education system should not be used as a bargaining chip.

A form of this legislation was introduced during the 2013-14 session as SB 1150 and co sponsors included Senators Wozniak, Rafferty, Schwank, Farnese, Brewster, Pileggi, Hughes, Costa and Browne.

Please join me in protecting this vital resource for our Commonwealth’s children.

Introduced as SB216