A New Vote on Full Day Kinergarten

The East Penn School Board will again consider two proposals on full day kindergarten at their meeting on Monday.  The first calls for implementation of the full day kindergarten plan, which was developed over the last two years by a special committee made up of educators, parents, and administrators.  The second calls for a public referendum on full day kindergarten and sets a ceiling on the costs permitted for such a program.

Both of these proposals have been raised before.  The former was defeated by a previous board in a 4-5 vote in October.  The second was raised at a November board meeting, but there weren’t even two board members who wanted to discuss it and therefore did not come to a vote.

I have been a vocal supporter of the full day kindergarten proposal.  I voted yes on the proposal the first time around, and plan to do so again at Monday’s meeting.  I believe that the plan before the board is well designed, that it is needed in our community, that research shows that it will be beneficial, and that its benefits outweigh its costs.  I have discussed all of these issues in a collection of short blog posts and videos that you can access (and share) at: https://munson4eastpenn.org/fulldayk

If you would like to speak to the board about full day kindergarten, you may do so during the public comment period held at the beginning of the meeting on Monday, December 11, at 7:30pm, in the board room at 800 Pine St. in Emmaus.

3 thoughts on “A New Vote on Full Day Kinergarten”

  1. We’ve seen all of the arguments, pro and con, both from the truly expert educationists and from concerned parents who see it either way. There are some kids and parents who won’t benefit from FDK and even some who might be hurt by a change. But there are also many families who see this as helping them with day care costs, logistics or for convenience, if for no other reason. Every kid is different, and I see FDK a reversal of the trend 30 years ago to have kids be older when they first started school. “So, round and around and around we go, where the world’s headed, nobody knows! – And the band played on.”

    ALL of this matters; but in reality, almost NONE of it matters. The answer for EPSD is actually quite simple. Unless there was some compelling argument that EPSD should exert leadership to stop the movement towards FDK, the water is over the dam. FDK is a trend both nationally and state wide that EPSD should follow, if for no other reason than to maintain some uniformity of curriculum with other places.

    Financially, EPSD should be in good position to proceed with FDK at this time. There was supposed to be a $6 million dollar reduction in bond payments in the next fiscal (and academic) year. I’m afraid that much of that will evaporate into thin air (if it hasn’t already) as a result of the recent bond “restructuring” for “cash flow” that the school board approved about two years ago. Simply put, that extra “cash flow” needs to be put to work so we get some tangible addition in place, instead of seeing it all go away.

    Finally, as an afterthought, EPSD should have enough cash flow to support starting FDK during FY18-19 without a real estate tax increase above the index (and perhaps without any tax increase at all), so the Act 1 referendum proposal in the 12/11 agenda seems pointless. In any case, if more money was needed, the administration should (or would) be asking for it.


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