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Our View: Kindergarten debate deserve swift resolution

Published: Saturday, Aug. 3, 2013 5:30 a.m. CDT

Geneva School District 304 was on the verge of offering families all-day kindergarten in 2008, but then the economy imploded, and the idea was put on hold.

Many parents’ appetites for the district to expand upon its half-day offerings remain strong, though, and District 304 now is willing to revisit the issue.

We hope the district does so expeditiously. It extensively studied the pros and cons of all-day kindergarten in 2008, so it would seem like a waste of time and resources to do another full-bore, committee-intensive, big-picture study of the topic.

There seems to be a difference of opinion on the board about how aggressive of a timetable the board should operate under. We think it is time for this issue to be made a priority.

There is no shortage of models for Geneva to look to as it weighs the issue.

While many districts statewide provide all-day kindergarten to all families, that is generally not the case in the immediate area.

Batavia offers kindergarten enrichment through the local park district for a fee, while Kaneland and St. Charles offer all-day kindergarten for a fee. That policy is controversial in some circles since studies have shown benefits for students with access to all-day kindergarten, seemingly penalizing children who come from families that are unable to afford paying extra for a longer day.

There are many compelling factors to mull. Fortunately, Geneva already has done much of the necessary legwork to make an informed decision.

After getting an updated handle on the financial implications of the move, the Geneva board should make its decision and allow families to know what they will be dealing with in the coming years.

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