From Idaho Statesman, January 10, 2022, by Becca Savransky.
Idaho legislators this year plan to push to fund optional full-day kindergarten, a proposal experts say would help improve Idaho’s reading outcomes as children enter first grade.
Lawmakers said not only will funding full-day kindergarten give more kids that extra academic time, but will also alleviate some of the burden that falls on property taxes. Several legislators are working on different versions of bills to fund full-day kindergarten, but they agreed this is the year they expect to get something through
A recent study that analyzed data from the IRI in recent years found full-day kindergarten helped close literacy gaps among students.
Between fall 2020 and spring 2021, students enrolled in full-day kindergarten “improved their IRI scores and outpaced partial-day kindergarten students,” according to the study published by Public Impact, an education firm, and Bluum, an Idaho education nonprofit. Students in full-day kindergarten learned more throughout the year than their peers in half-day programs, the study said.