Highline School District plans to offer free, full-day kindergarten to all students next school year.
Currently, half-day kindergarten is the norm: two and a half hours a day. Most Washington parents have to pay tuition if they want their kids in full-day kindergarten.
Lindsey Durant teaches kindergarten at Highline’s Gregory Heights Elementary. Durant says providing the same kindergarten program to all kids is a matter of equity. "We have many families that can’t afford to pay the $295 a month for their child to have the experience of a full-day program. And that, of course, leads to a group of children that are much more highly prepared to enter first grade than other kids who simply can’t afford the same opportunity."
The state has committed to funding full-day kindergarten for all students in Washington by 2018. But in a statement, Highline Superintendent Susan Enfield said her district "cannot wait for the Legislature to act" on full-day funding.