West Ada and Twin Falls will offer free full-day kindergarten next fall
IDAHO — Free all-day kindergarten options are growing in south-central Idaho as two school districts announced plans to provide service over the weekend.
On Saturday, the West Ada School District posted on Facebook stating that it will begin offering free full-time kindergartens in all elementary schools next year.
West Ada pointed to the multiple benefits of enrolling a child in full-time kindergarten in the position.
“Full-day kindergarten doesn’t just boost student academic success,” he said. “It also boosts their social and emotional skills.”
Half-day kindergarten is free throughout Idaho and funded by state appropriations.
Related: Lawmakers Introduce New Kindergarten Legislation, Kill Another
As of 2014, the district has offered tuition-based, all-day kindergarten to families at select schools. Tuition is $300 per month, according to Idaho Ed News. However, the varied and paid program drew WASD into a lawsuit with parents in the district who argued that the service violated provisions of the Idaho Constitution. More costume information is available here.
The Twin Falls School District also announced plans to offer free all-day kindergarten in the fall. Friday. The Boise and Idaho Falls school districts previously announced plans to roll out free full-day programs next year to all elementary schools.
“This shift is occurring through funding from the state level designated to provide literacy support,” the TFSD online announcement reads.
Related: Boise Schools to Offer Free Full-Day Kindergarten Districtwide
This additional funding comes from a invoice signed into law by Governor Brad Little last week. Under the legislation, state funding for literacy intervention programs will nearly triple, from $26.1 million to $72.7 million. During legislative debate, the bill’s sponsors said the extra money was enough for all schools in Idaho to provide free full-day kindergarten services. However, the funding can be used for other literacy-related programs.
More information about kindergarten enrollment is available on school district websites.