Year-round pre-kindergarten proposed for Kansas City School District

KANSAS CITY, Mo. - Wednesday night, the Kansas City School Board will hear a proposal for a new program for three and four-year-olds. It would keep them in school year-round for a full day.

"We're not talking about just some place for parents to send their kids to get them out of the house," Early Childhood Education Commission Chair Herb Kohn said. "We're talking about a highly qualified structured program there's no question that they're going to do better in kindergarten and they're going to do better from then out."

Right now, the district spends $10-12 million dollars on pre-K.
The biggest challenge to making year-round pre-kindergarten a reality will be money as $8,000 per child. Multiply that by the average 6,000 students and the cost nears $48 million.

Kohn is presenting the year-round proposal to the board. He and other members of the Early Childhood Education Committee started on the proposal back in May.

"If kids are not prepared for kindergarten by the time they get to third grade, they are probably not going to be reading at grade level. If they're not reading at grade level by third-grade they're probably never going to get caught up," Kohn said.

District leaders told 41 Action News they won't comment until after Wednesday night's meeting.
The Early Childhood Education Commission is optimistic it will be approved.

"If they don't get caught up there's a much better chance that they're going to drop out of school before they graduate and they become a very expensive burden on society," Kohn said.

If the year-round proposal is approved, two subcommittees will be formed to deal with implementation and the cost.

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