Forget Full-Time Pre-K, How about Full-Time Kindergarten?

(Governor to taxpayer: Cough it up, you little twerp!)

While Gov. Timothy M. Kaine talks up his bid to expand pre-k funding for disadvantaged children, Northern Virginia localities have a different priority: expanding their kindergarten programs from part-time to full-time. Fairfax County, home to one in seven Virginians, is spending $5.6 million this year to expand part-time programs to full-time at 21 more schools, bringing the full-time total to 94 countywide, reports Maria Glod with the Washington Post.

Arlington County and Alexandria already have full-time programs, while Prince William is moving to one this year. Of Northern Virginia’s most populous jurisdictions, only fiscally stressed Loudoun County is not evolving to full-time Kindergarten.

The evolution is understandable, given the increased emphasis American society places on education. If you want children to be better prepared to learn the basics in 1st grade, make sure they get the foundational skills in kindergarten. Education spending is skyrocketing in Virginia, even when adjusted for inflation and the increased number of pupils. But there appears to be a disconnect between the funding priorities of local school boards the educrats in Richmond who control the opaque and inflexible process for allocating state aid for education known as “Standards of Quality” — not to mention between the school boards and Gov. Kaine, who wants to expand pre-K.

If local governments are putting their money where their mouth is, in expanded kindergarten programs, why is Gov. Kaine spending political capital to expand pre-K programs?

(“Kindergarten Cop photo credit:

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One response to “Forget Full-Time Pre-K, How about Full-Time Kindergarten?”

  1. My oldest just entered kindergarten in Chesterfield County…920 to 320 I hope this is full time.

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