DFL lawmakers on Monday visited a District 622 school as they continued their push for state funding for all-day kindergarten.
House Speaker Paul Thissen, Majority Leader Erin Murphy and other DFLers were at Richardson Elementary School in North St. Paul, “where all-day kindergarten has helped to raise test scores and narrow the achievement gap,” according to a release.
Sen. Chuck Wiger, who represents parts of Oakdale, is co-author of a bill to fund all-day kindergarten programs in Minnesota schools.
“This legislation is a significant education investment for our state and provides an important step toward enhancing Minnesota’s commitment to quality education for all children,” he wrote in a January editorial piece on Oakdale Patch. “Numerous studies conducted over the past four decades have shown that keeping students engaged for an entire day has quantifiable educational benefits, including improved literacy and math skills.”
House File 105 and House File 821 would invest $185 million a year in voluntary all-day kindergarten, according to the House information service. Minnesota currently funds half-day kindergarten, though some districts have chosen to offer full-day programs.
From the release:
ISD 622 has seen direct evidence of positive results since implementing all-day K. ISD 622 has seen overall reading MCA proficiency gains of 8 percent, while reducing the race-based achievement gap by over 10 percent across all subgroups. Math MCA scores have risen by 5.5 percent and race based gaps have closed by nearly 10 percent. There has also been a drop in the percentage of students receiving special education services since the implementation of all-day, every day kindergarten.
Thissen called all-day kindergarten “a great investment for Minnesota’s future.”
“The progress Richardson Elementary has seen in student achievement shows us the evidence,” he said in a statement. “We have said that every dollar of new education investment should produce extra value, not only to the student but to the state and our communities overall and all-day K absolutely meets that goal.”