Full-day kindergarten provides more learning opportunities
The memory of certain events that occurred while I was in kindergarten have stuck with me all these years. For instance, I remember getting $1 from my teacher for having perfect attendance, I broke a toy transformer one day that I had taken to class, and my school day back then only lasted half the day.
Ninety-nine percent of us who went to kindergarten probably only went for a few hours a day.
I think the problem legislators face is the project is a very expensive one and the state won’t see any benefits until the students get good jobs, remain off social services, or possibly cure cancer.
State Rep. Paul Robertson said that for every $1 spent on all-day kindergarten, the state will recoup $7. That’s money that could be spent on other things, like improving roads, updating hospitals and providing police forces with needed tools.
Some state legislators have pushed for all-day kindergarten for the past eight years, some probably even longer. Gov. Mitch Daniels has made this a very high priority, if not the highest priority. It appears that all-day kindergarten will get passed this time around.
Approving full-day kindergarten is coming not a moment too soon. Nowadays, kids need as much education as they can get, to help prepare them for post-secondary education. Twenty years ago, a high school diploma was acceptable to make a decent living. Today, it’s a bachelor’s degree, but even that won’t suffice before long.
So many employers are looking for workers who have graduate degrees, and some time in the near future a master’s degree might be the norm. Did you know that there are now post-doctorate courses? There was a time, in the not-so-distant past, that once you earned your doctorate, you either finally got a job or you started over in another field.
While I support full-day kindergarten, I hope no one decides to push for sending preschoolers to the classroom longer. We Americans tend to over-do a lot of things, but children still need time to be kids.
Overall, the extended version of kindergarten is a good idea. Research and data shows that students who attend all day have improved academic achievement and social skills, and fewer discipline problems. I would think that it’s better to caption children’s attention at an early age while they are eager to learn.
Our current state legislators have a great opportunity to be the ones who say they passed a bill that had a significant impact on a better and brighter Indiana. Republicans and Democrats at the Statehouse need to put their party’s agenda aside and ask themselves, ‘What is the best thing for the future of Indiana?’
The future holds so much uncertainty that the best way to prepare for it is to have as much knowledge as possible. The earlier we start absorbing that knowledge, the more prepared we’ll be.