Budget cuts: no Kindergarten!

Discussion in 'General Education' started by mkate, Apr 9, 2012.

  1. mkate

    mkate Comrade

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    Apr 9, 2012

    I just heard that in the district my aunt recently retired from, a lower socioeconomic area, they have had to cut not only music and art, but also the Kindergarten program! I couldn't believe it-- these are kids that really need the academic/social benefits that K provides, and there is not much else available for them. It's hard to know what to cut, and this district is fairly poor already, so I'm sure they didn't have much in the way of "extras," but this is just so sad.
     
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  3. MsMar

    MsMar Fanatic

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    Such a shame. Is she in Spain too or is this somewhere in the US? In PA Kinder is not mandatory and I wouldn't be totally shocked to start seeing it cut in the next few years if our budget situation doesn't improve. I sure hope it doesn't come to that though.
     
  4. mopar

    mopar Multitudinous

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    We don't have mandatory K either, but we have started to offer a full day K and charge the parents for the extra half day to make K profitable.

    I would hate to see K programs cut. It'll just make 1st grade that much more difficult.
     
  5. mkate

    mkate Comrade

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    No, this was in upstate NY. Though the Spanish government just announced a reduction of 10 billion euros in health and education, so that may be around the corner-- here we have public (free) school from 3 years of age, but it isn't mandatory until age 6. Most families do send their kids for those three years of pre-primary ed, though.

    I was under the impression that most kids in the US went to Kindergarten as well-- especially now that K is "the new first grade." It will certainly be an adjustment-- everyone will have to work that much harder just to keep up...
     
  6. JustMe

    JustMe Virtuoso

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    Such the wrong direction... Sad. :(
     
  7. Emily Bronte

    Emily Bronte Groupie

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    Apr 9, 2012

    We do not have mandatory kinder either. Some schools had all day kinder and a lot of that has been cut in recent years.
     
  8. Sarge

    Sarge Enthusiast

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    Apr 9, 2012

    At least the captain of the Titanic tried to avoid the iceberg once he saw it.

    This is like speeding up and heading straight for it.
     
  9. mopar

    mopar Multitudinous

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    What is sad is that there are K common core standards and lots of places are cutting K programs.
     
  10. KinderCowgirl

    KinderCowgirl Phenom

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    OMG! That's just unbelievable. We see such a difference in Kinder with the kids who went to school before-I can't imagine just starting in 1st Grade.
     
  11. Aliceacc

    Aliceacc Multitudinous

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    Apr 9, 2012

    Where in NY, MKate??

    Since they're low income, is there any chance for a HeadStart type of school to accept them, to cover some of the skills they'll be missing?
     
  12. lovebeingteach

    lovebeingteach Companion

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    WHAT??? Very sad!
     
  13. jlj

    jlj Devotee

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    I take it the schools begin with K and not VPK (4 yr olds). In FL VPK was voted in so I'm not sure how they would handle cutting it altogether. Hmm could they do that or would it have to be voted on?Personally I thought voting VPK4s into the public schools was ludicrous anyway! All parents were hearing is "free" but schools were already overcrowded, not enough $$ to go around... When will they ever learn nothing is "free", there is always a catch somewhere along the way. Anyway, sorry to hear about your K program! They all so badly need the social skills,etc to be prepared for 1st! And even those 4 yr. olds need it, I understand it was to be so all would have more opportunity. I just think they should have worked on fixing what they already had and let the PK schools take care of the PK children, leaving more space and $$ for K+ in the schools & stop cutting programs (art & music are important!). Uh oh, getting on :soapbox: Are the schools half or full day K? Maybe as already mentioned they would consider just cutting to half day; that's better than nothing and K was a half day program to begin with....:2cents:
     
  14. MsMar

    MsMar Fanatic

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    It's not mandatory but most do attend. I've personally never come across a child who didn't go to Kinder (well, not counting some of my ELL students who were in countries other than the US at age 5 where Kinder wasn't offered) but technically you can choose to not send your child/not home school and you're not breaking any law. So I'm sure there are kids out there who don't go to Kinder, but it's certainly not typical where I live (high income) and work (low income). There would definitely be massive uproar if it were taken away.
     
  15. yellowdaisies

    yellowdaisies Fanatic

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    That is horrible and makes me so sad. I had no idea districts were actually CUTTING K! :( And I hate that this kind of stuff always happens to the kids who really need it the MOST. :(
     
  16. orangetea

    orangetea Connoisseur

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    This is very sad! I didn't even realize that cutting Kindergarten was an option.

    We have a public preschool, so if we need to cut, I guess we'll cut that first.
     
  17. KinderCowgirl

    KinderCowgirl Phenom

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    We had one once, she started in 1st Grade. The teacher heard the door open and looked out the hallway and the little girl was just walking down the hall--she decided she was hungry and was going to the cafeteria to get lunch.

    She ended up being retained in 1st because she was just so far behind. I don't know how that would work with many kids starting at that same level-I assume the expecatations for the 1st Grade teachers would still remain the same.
     
  18. Ms. I

    Ms. I Maven

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    Woah, I've never heard of such as thing as no kinder. I feel sorry for those 1st grade teachers!
     
  19. dizzykates

    dizzykates Habitué

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    I know it's not mandatory, but I can't imagine those poor kids in 1st grade. I hope their parents/daycare centers are providing some real enriching activities.
     
  20. moonbeamsinajar

    moonbeamsinajar Habitué

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    Apr 9, 2012

    Several districts in my county are talking about cutting Kindergarten to save money. The state has made such drastic cuts to education (from preschool up though the college level) that there seems to be no other choice. There have also been cuts to "extras" and lots of furloughs. I am not sure what this will do to Head Start, as we have always taken children the year before Kindergarten. Does this mean we would take them the year before first grade, or will they sit home a year without any services? As we are currently recruiting 4 year olds for the 2012/2013 year, and the acceptance letters go out in July, if the districts actually DO cut kindergarten, those kids who should have gone to Kindergarten might have to sit out a year. I am hoping that the districts who face this issue will not really follow though. Education funding in PA is in crisis mode right now. :( And the ones who will be hurt the most are the low income families who cannot afford private preschool.
     
  21. mkate

    mkate Comrade

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    Apr 9, 2012

    Fonda-Fultonville schools. I don't know the details, but it's a rural area and they don't have a lot of other options. Hopefully something will come along...

    ETA: It's in the Mohawk Valley.
     
  22. massteacher

    massteacher Companion

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    Wow, that's unbelievable. In my state its rare to find a half-day public K, as most are full days. I didn't realize that was an option.
     
  23. knitter63

    knitter63 Groupie

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    What a step in the wrong direction. I can't imagine school without kindergarten-how difficult 1st grade will be for so many students. I certainly hope our district does not come to this, but with all the budget cuts and lack of state funding, I can see it looming in the future.
     
  24. Aliceacc

    Aliceacc Multitudinous

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    As far as I can see, they're discussing SEVERAL options, some of which impact Kindergarten, maintenence, secretarial staff, and a number of other segments of the educational community.

    http://www.fondafultonvilleschools....13_Budget_News/The_Importance_of_Kindergarten

    Now look here:
    http://www.fondafultonvilleschools.org/pages/Fonda-Fultonville_CSD
    Go to the budget, and look at page 8. They talk about the possibility of eliminating some teachers, and impacting kindergarten. Nowhere did I see that they had decided to cut the program.

    In addtion, last week-- April 3-- they posted information on Kindergarten screening in preparation for next year:
    http://www.fondafultonvilleschools....ville_CSD/News/Kindergarten_Parent_Orientatio

    All of this is still on the website as of Tuesday evening April 10.
     
  25. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

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    Apr 10, 2012

    If they're holding K orientation, it looks as if they'll be offering kindergarten...seems like the budget vote will make a big impact on several programs in the district and teachers are being and to freeze pay...tough times.
     
  26. JustMe

    JustMe Virtuoso

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    They were at least considering cutting kindergarten.

    "...said a $2.7 million hole in the proposed budget would mean either a 35 percent tax increase or the elimination or reduction of 26 teaching positions and 33 support-staff positions and the elimination of all non-mandated programs, including interscholastic sports, kindergarten, elementary art and music, band, choir and middle school reading classes."
     
  27. Aliceacc

    Aliceacc Multitudinous

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    Right. It was one of the proposals on the table, for any one of a number of reasons.

    But as of today, apparently they're planning to have orientation, so it looks as though they're making other arrangements.
     
  28. scmom

    scmom Enthusiast

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    Unfortunately, I think many school districts discuss a lot of proposals like that, often as scare tactics to prod the citizens to vote in tax increases, scare the teachers into accepting pay cuts, or make people feel grateful when cuts aren't as bad as originally proposed. It is often politics and they play the game knowing they won't actually cut as much. It is done a lot around here, and I am sick of it. It is similar to pink slipping everyone non-tenured when they know darn well they will hire most of them back. It is playing with people's lives.
     
  29. mkate

    mkate Comrade

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    Alice, I did see that defense of kindergarten on the website, and I had looked the budget over quickly and didn't see a mention of Kindergarten staff (though that may be included in the elementary staff portion.) It sounds like at the moment it is still up in the air as far as what will happen-- I do hope somehow it works out!
     
  30. silverspoon65

    silverspoon65 Enthusiast

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    I was shocked to learn recently that PA kindergarten was not full day - I didn't know it wasn't even required. I am pretty sure when I have kids I will be staying home with them at least through kinder so I can homeschool them, or find a private full day kinder.
     
  31. TamiJ

    TamiJ Virtuoso

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    So the answer to this economic crisis is fewer years in school by eliminating K? Boy that's a great idea. Excellent.
     
  32. teacherintexas

    teacherintexas Maven

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    I've only had one student in nineteen years who did not attend kindergarten. He was retained in first and was still below grade level when I had him. He might have still had problems learning had he attended, but I think at least some of the difficulty came from missing that exposure.
     
  33. jlj

    jlj Devotee

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    Any new info yet?
     
  34. mkate

    mkate Comrade

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    Apr 15, 2012

    It sounds like they have found some other places to cut, so there is a new proposal that will save kindergarten, but not AP classes, sports, or foreign language. It now needs to be voted on by the school board. I really hope it goes through.
     

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