ISHPEMING–A new Michigan Legislature bill would require all Kindergartners to attend a full day of school.
If House Bill 4987 passes it won’t affect some schools, such as the Ishpeming public schools. About five years ago the state mandated in order to get the full foundation funding, schools must have a full day of kindergarten. Half days would only receive partial foundation.
Ishpeming Superintendent Carrie Meyer said many school districts made the switch then, in order to keep the same amount of funding.
“Well I think the full day kindergarten is necessary with other current laws that have happened throughout the state,” Meyer said. “Just last year they passed the third grade retention law, which increases the expectations for students in kindergarten, first, and second. They need to make sure they are at reading level by grade three.”
For parents who have a child of kindergarten age and they’re worried whether or not that child is ready, Meyer said other options are available in the district.
“A junior kindergarten class is perfect. They’re there for a full day, they’re interacting with kids, and they’re learning academics but still having that flexibility to just be kids,” Meyer said. “They build up that maturity, foundation, and it really prepares them for being successful in kindergarten.”
Michigan is currently one of nearly 30 states, that have yet to mandate full day kindergarten.