New Jersey exploring whether full-day kindergarten should be mandated statewide

The New Jersey Assembly has passed a bill that calls for the creation of a 21-member task force to study the feasibility of offering full-day kindergarten statewide.

 Assemblywoman Mila Jasey said some school districts in New Jersey don’t provide that.  “There are many reasons why. I think primarily it’s resources. The state currently only supports only half-day kindergarten so if a district wants to do it on their own, they have to do it in on their own dime.”

Governor Christie vetoed similar legislation last year, saying that three-quarters of districts already have full-day kindergarten and it should be a local choice not a state mandate.

 Jasey said kindergarten helps kids be better prepared for first grade and if the Senate also approves the bill, she’s hoping the governor would sign the bill this time. “I think what’s changed is the realization that early childhood education is very important and in fact we’re going to be launching a push for pre-k throughout the state, expanding pre-k.”

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