AP NEWS

Bill introduced to enact Polis plan on full-day kindergarten

March 23, 2019

DENVER (AP) — Colorado lawmakers have introduced a bill designed to implement Gov. Jared Polis’ plan to offer state-funded full-day kindergarten.

The bill was introduced in the House late Friday. It is sponsored by Rep. Barbara McLachlan and Sen. Jeff Bridges, both Democrats, and Republican Rep. Jim Wilson.

Colorado ensures funding for half-day kindergarten. School districts that do offer full-day kindergarten pay for it with local property taxes, by charging families, or by using funding designed for pre-school or other programs.

Families would be given the choice to opt in to the full-day program.

Polis says early childhood education allows disadvantaged children to catch up to their peers early, improves long-term academic performance and reduces high school drop-out rates.

The Joint Budget Committee has set aside $185 million to implement the plan in the fiscal year that begins July 1.