Location:
EDUCATION (GENERAL) ;
Scope:
Connecticut laws/regulations; Background;

OLR Research Report


December 28, 2011

 

2011-R-0440

ALL-DAY KINDERGARTEN

By: Judith Lohman, Assistant Director

You asked if the legislature has recently introduced bills that would have made all-day kindergarten mandatory in any or all school districts.  You also asked for (1) the current law on all-day kindergarten and (2) data on how many districts offer it.

SUMMARY

A search of bills introduced in the General Assembly in last five years yielded five that would have required, or given incentives to districts to offer, all-day kindergarten.  None of the provisions were adopted.

School districts are not currently required to offer all-day kindergarten, but the law provides certain incentives for doing so and also authorizes the education commissioner to require it in an identified low-achieving district.

According to the State Department of Education (SDE), in the 2010-11 school year, 65 districts offered all-day kindergarten for 95%-100% of eligible students and another 28 offered it for some students. Nine interdistrict magnet and nine charter schools also offered all-day kindergarten to all students.

BILLS INTRODUCED 2006-2011

Five bills introduced in the 2006 through 2011 General Assembly sessions would have required or given incentives to districts to offer all-day kindergarten. These bills are briefly summarized below.

SB 376 (2006) would have required the education commissioner to provide one-time grants of $250,000 each for FY 07 to priority school districts to establish all-day kindergarten in their schools.

HB 6524 (2007) would have required all districts to implement universal all-day kindergarten.

SB 357 (2007) would have required universal, state-funded, pre- and all-day kindergarten to be phased in over five years.

SB 1114 (2007), 20 would have:

1. required any district that does not offer all-day kindergarten for all students to submit a plan to the education commissioner to do so,

2. specified minimum requirements for an all-day kindergarten program, and

3. authorized the education commissioner to require all-day kindergarten in any districts where (a) 30% or more of the students do not achieve proficiency on any part of the third-grade mastery tests or (b) the commissioner considers it would be in the best interest of the school or district.

HB 6432 (2011), 8 would have required priority school districts, by July 1, 2013, to provide all-day kindergarten to all children living in those districts.

CURRENT LAWS REGARDING ALL-DAY KINDERGARTEN

Two statutes give districts incentives to offer all-day kindergarten, but only one incentive is currently funded. Another gives the education commissioner the authority to order a low-achieving district to offer an all-day kindergarten program in certain circumstances.

Early Reading Success Grant (CGS 10-265f). This law requires the education commissioner to establish an early reading success grant to allow priority school districts and districts with priority elementary schools to, among other things, establish all-day kindergarten programs. The law also establishes criteria for such programs. The state is not currently funding the early reading success grant program.

School Construction Bonus (CGS 10-285a). This law increases the state reimbursement rate by 10 percentage points for a capital project for a priority school or any school in a priority district needed to offer an all-day kindergarten program. To receive a bonus, the program must meet the criteria specified in the early reading success law.

Education Accountability Law (CGS 10-223e(e)). The accountability law allows the education commissioner to order any district or school that is designated as low-achieving to provide all-day kindergarten. To be designated as low-achieving, a district or school must fail to make adequate yearly progress in student achievement for two successive years.

DISTRICTS OFFERING ALL-DAY KINDERGARTEN IN 2010-11

A minority of school districts in the state offer all-day kindergarten. The numbers for the 2010-11 school year are shown in Table 1. A list of the districts in each category is available on SDE's website.

TABLE 1: DISTRICT KINDERGARTEN PROGRAMS, 2010-11

Program

Description

Districts

Magnet Schools

Charter Schools

Full-day K for all children

900 hours of actual school work/180 days minimum

65

9

9

Full-day K for some children

28

0

0

Extended-day K for all children

Between 460 and 900 hours of actual school work/180 days minimum

16

0

1

Extended-day K for some children

13

0

0

Half-day K for all children

450 hours of actual school work/180 days minimum

58

0

0

Half-day K for some children

21

0

0

Source: SDE, Bureau of Teaching and Learning

JL:ts