Here’s what Colo. governor’s all-day kindergarten plan means for PSD, families

Poudre School District families will not have to pay for full-day kindergarten, starting in the 2019-2020 school year.

Poudre School District families will not have to pay for full-day kindergarten, starting in the 2019-2020 school year.

 

By Madeline Noblett,

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Executive Director of Communications, PSD Schools

mnoblett@psdschools.org

 

Poudre School District families will not have to pay for full-day kindergarten, starting in the 2019-2020 school year.

This exciting change came about in May 2019 when Colorado Gov. Jared Polis signed House Bill 1262 into law. It will have a significant effect on parents in Poudre School District and beyond.

“We’re thankful to Gov. Polis and the Legislature for making this investment not only in our state but, most importantly, in our kids,” said Todd Lambert, PSD’s assistant superintendent of elementary schools. “Not paying for all-day kindergarten tuition will make a world of difference for our families.”

Statewide funding for all-day kindergarten was one of Gov. Polis’ early campaign promises.

Starting next school year, the State of Colorado is expected to fully fund a student enrolled in a full-day kindergarten program at the same amount as students enrolled full-time in other grades. Under previous law, the state’s school finance formula funded kindergarten students at 58 percent of the rate that it paid for older students. PSD projects that its state per-pupil funding is $8,053 in fiscal year 2019-20.

Previously, Colorado’s 178 school districts could choose to offer half-day kindergarten or make up the difference by charging tuition or using other funds. Poudre School District’s half-day programs were historically free; the District charged tuition for full-day programs.

In preparation for the potential change, PSD staff assessed current and available space in the District’s schools and facilities. Based upon estimates for future enrollment and current kindergarten enrollment figures, PSD officials believe the District can accommodate more students, should PSD experience an increase in full-day kindergarten enrollment for the 2019-20 school year.

As of the October 2018 count, Poudre School District had 1,978 students enrolled in part- and full-time kindergarten. About 80 percent of PSD’s current kindergarten families opt for the full-day program.

Parents and guardians who have already registered their child for half-day kindergarten, for the 2019-20 school year, will be able to switch and enroll their child in a full-day program. Parents who wish to make a change are encouraged to contact their child’s school as soon as possible. Ideally, all decisions will be finalized before the annual October student count, which determines how much PSD will receive in state funding for the year.