rauchios asks:

Is there a law that all schools must have full day kindergarten?

I have heard that there is such a law in New York State, yet I live in East Meadow School District in Nassau County where only half day kindergarten is offered.
In Topics: State education standards
> 60 days ago



Jun 17, 2009
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What the Expert Says:

You may have heard of legislation introduced in the New York State Assembly proposing mandated full-day kindergarten.

"In the 2006 Legislative Session, this bill was introduced in the Assembly as A.1l915, was referred to the Assembly Education Committee and  no
further action was taken. In the 2007 Legislative Session, this bill was
introduced in the Assembly as A.8688."

A bill (BILL NUMBER:A8042) mandating full-day kindergarten has been proposed once again:

"TITLE: An  act  to  amend the education law, in relation to strengthening early childhood education by requiring full-day kindergarten and lowering the age of compulsory attendance to age five.

"PURPOSE OF THE BILL: To ensure that every child in New York will get a good educational start,  by requiring that school districts provide full-day kindergarten to all children by the 2011-2012 school year and  lowering  the  age  of compulsory  education  to age 5 at the same time.  Parents would be able
to elect not to place their child in school at age 5."

In May of 2009, this current bill was referred to the Education Committee.

As member "jirwin" has responded, current New York State legislation provides for strong incentives for full-day kindergarten, with strong incentive defined as one that, "(1) provide a higher level of funding for full-day kindergarten than is provided for half-day kindergarten; and (2) provide funding for full-day kindergarten that is equal to or greater than the amount funded for 1st grade."

Hope this information helps!

Candace Lindemann, Ed.M. - JustAsk Expert
Educational Consultant and Writer
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Additional Answers (1)

jirwin writes:
It looks like NY offers a strong incentive and a categorical program for full day kindergarten but I couldnt find a law that says it is mandatory. Indeed a chart at the end of the pdf says that the kindergarten laws are permissive instead of mandatory like in a number of southern states.  Indeed Lousiana not only do districts need to fund full-day kindergarten but pupils must attend as well.  New york it doesnt say so, so I presume there is no law.

From the attached pdf:

Because most states do not mandate district provision
of full-day kindergarten,there is currently a large variation
in distribution of access within most states.When surveyed
by ECS for this study,many states did not know the
percentage of school districts that offer full-day kindergarten.
For those states that do track this data,two states (Montana
and New Hampshire) report that fewer than 10% of school
districts offer full-day kindergarten;while another eight states
(Delaware,Florida,Iowa,Missouri,New Mexico,New York,
Virginia and Wisconsin) report that more than 70% of
districts offer full-day programs.


A strong incentive for school districts to offer full-day
kindergarten exists when the state provides more funding
for full-day kindergarten than is provided for half-day
AND when the weight provided to full-day kindergarten
is equal to or greater than the weight provided to 1st
grade.This definition assumes that full-day kindergarten
requires a similar,or greater,level of resources as 1st
grade and that the state is willing to provide this level
of funding to all school districts.Seven states provide
a strong incentive to offer full-day kindergarten (Alaska,
Georgia,Illinois,Nebraska,New Mexico,New York
and Wisconsin).


Three states (Massachusetts,New Hampshire and
New York) use categorical programs to target funding
to districts that have never offered full-day kindergarten
programs in the past.

Hope that helps.

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