PORTAGE, Mich. — The four remaining Kalamazoo-area schools with half-day kindergarten programs will switch to full-day programs due to likely changes in state aid, according to M-Live.
Under current law, schools receive $6,846 from the state for each kindergartener whether they are half- or full-day students. Lawmakers have discussed changing the funding equation so that half-day programs only receive half of the foundation allowance. According to M-Live, the altered funding formula is expected to be adopted this year and the remaining Kalamazoo-area schools with half-day kindergarten are changing their programs in anticipation of the move.
The change wouldn’t mandate schools go to full-day kindergarten, but the move makes financial sense for most districts. For example, M-Live reports that adopting full-day kindergarten will cost Portage $1.1 million, but that amount is less than the $2.7 million in state aid the district would lose should the rule change and the district did not adopt full-day kindergarten.
Michigan Education Report, “Plan Would Reduce Funding for Half-Day Kindergarten,” April 26, 2011