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School board asks for all-day K waiver from state
The South-Western City Schools Board of Education will seek a request to delay all-day, every-day kindergarten.
The original resolution, discussed at a recent board meeting, stated the district would seek a two-year waiver, but the board changed that to a one-year waiver.
"I recognize we have funding issues, but it is important to look at how we will implement all-day kindergarten," said board member Karen Dover.
Board member Cathy Johnson agreed to the one-year amendment and said if the district offered all-day, every-day kindergarten, the students would not need as much intervention in later years.
Jo Ellen Myers, board member, voted against the one-year amendment.
According to Patrick Callaghan, executive director for elementary education, it would cost the district approximately $3.3 million to implement all-day, every-day kindergarten. The district would need to hire 29 additional teachers and classroom aides and find funds for intervention specialists, art, music, physical education, building administration and support staff.
The district would also need extra space for 30 classrooms deemed suitable for young students.
"We certainly believe that all-day, every-day kindergarten would have a positive impact for our students, but it would also have an impact on the district from a facilities and financial standpoint," said Superintendent Bill Wise.
Wise said district leaders must also take into account the potential state budget cuts for the upcoming school years. If the state were to cut 10 percent of its education budget, South-Western would lose approximately $9 million per year.
According to the Ohio Revised Code, all public school districts shall provide all-day, every-day kindergarten to students beginning in fiscal year 2011. The state may grant a waiver to districts that can prove the implementation would be a hardship.
The board plans to keep an eye on House Bill 30, which is legislation that would eliminate the all-day, every-day kindergarten requirement.
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