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Senate of Pennsylvania
Session of 2017 - 2018 Regular Session


Posted: December 7, 2016 11:14 AM
From: Senator Wayne D. Fontana
To: All Senate members
Subject: Full Day Kindergarten
In the near future, I plan to re-introduce legislation that would require all school districts in the Commonwealth to provide full day kindergarten.

According to the Department of Education, every school district in the Pennsylvania has offered a kindergarten program since 1992. In addition, about 80 percent of districts in the state offer full-day kindergarten. 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 2015-16 session as SB 216 and co-sponsors included Senators Brewster, Hughes, Costa, Farnese, Rafferty and Leach.

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

Introduced as SB295