Sunday, November 27, 2011

All Day Kindergarten Letters to Senators and Representatives

Please read this article about All Day Kindergarten.  We need to rally on this soon.
 An elementary conundrum:Should kindergarten be full time? October 27, 2011 Matt Vande Bunte.

In the mean time, let's get the word out to parents about All Day Kindergarten.  These letters were penned by Legislative Committee member Anne Grobel and she wants to share them with everyone.  The first letter is about how many kindergarteners are not ready for all day school and the second one is regarding funding cuts.

86th district  (our current representative)
73rd district (our new representative following 2012 elections)
28th district

Dear Representative Lyons/Representative MacGregor--
Dear Senator Jansen--

It has come to my attention that the legislature will pursue mandatory all-day kindergarten in the next few months.  As a parent and a taxpayer, I would like to strongly advocate against taking this position.  I believe that forcing school districts to require all day kindergarten will be detrimental to both the districts and the children involved.  Many children at this tender age require a rest during the day and would find a full academic day too stressful.  For these children, the potential academic benefits of three or four additional hours of classroom instruction would be lost to fatigue and burnout.  It is unreasonable to expect school district employees to determine which children are ready for this program at 4 and which at 5 years old.  That decision is best left to parents and guardians. At present there are many existing programs to provide all day care for children who may require that outside the home.  My experience is that many children find a full day rigorous and exhausting in the early months of first grade, so to expect that from all Kindergartners is unreasonable.  All day kindergarten would provide a lot of children  with a stressful and unpleasant beginning to their academic careers.

Best Regards From Your Constituent,

Dear Representative Lyons/Representative MacGregor--
Dear Senator Jansen--

All Day Kindergarten strips funding for high school programs while putting more strain on early elementary education budgets.  While I understand the need to most efficiently use the diminished tax revenues in Michigan, dissecting school budgets and forcing kindergarten programs to be funded only for the time each child is present in the building is an unreasonable cost cutting measure.  The legislative intent of Proposal A was to leave allocation of these per pupil monies under local control.  It is more expensive to educate a high school student than a kindergartner, and these students have very different needs.  I believe the locally elected school boards, local district administrators and local voters are in the best position to properly and most effectively determine how to distribute these funds among the buildings and staff and to best educate all of the children in their particular district.  

Please continue to allow local control on the issue of whether a child attends half-day or all day kindergarten.  Let's give these future taxpayer and members of our community the best chance to get a solid education and become productive members of our communities.

Best Regards from Your Constituent,