April 17, 2019
Denver, CO – The Senate Education Committee today voted unanimously to pass HB19-1262, State Funding For Full-day Kindergarten, a bill sponsored by Senator Jeff Bridges (D-Greenwood Village) and Senator Rhonda Fields (D-Aurora) to fund full-day kindergarten across the state. The bill now heads to the Senate Appropriations Committee for consideration.
“We know that the differences kids show up with in first grade stay with them for the rest of their time in school,” said Senator Bridges. “That’s why this bill is a top priority for our state’s families and communities. It will give every kid in Colorado a strong start and a fair shot at success, no matter what part of the state they live in. Long-term, this is an investment in our future workforce and the continued strength of our Colorado economy.”
There are roughly 14,000 kindergarteners in Colorado who are not enrolled in a full-day program, according to the Colorado Children’s Campaign. To provide full-day kindergarten offerings, many families must pay tuition to enroll their children in full-day programs either at private or public schools. For some public schools, the decision to offer full-day programing means making other cuts to programs and offerings.
“Full-day kindergarten is a game-changer for many families, particularly those in rural and low-income communities who can’t afford tuition or whose schools can’t afford to offer it,” said Senator Fields. “This is an investment in the future of our children and the future of our state that I have no doubt will have an incredible return on our investment.”
The funding of full-day kindergarten will not only provide more kids across the state a strong start, but also free up more than 5,000 Early Childhood At-Risk Enhancement (ECARE) slots in the Colorado Preschool Program.
For more information on HB19-1262, please visit https://leg.colorado.gov/bills/hb19-1262.