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G-C to continue full-day K

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GREENFIELD — The Greenfield-Central School Board has voted to continue its full-day kindergarten program next year with the hope the state will also continue to fund it.

The corporation has offered a full-day option since 2007, but when additional state funding increased for the 2012-13 school year, school officials decided to discontinue the half-day option and offer only full-day kindergarten.

Statewide, the increase in funding resulted in 79,110 students enrolling in full-day kindergarten programs – up from 66,401 last year.

G-C was among the schools that showed a significant jump, from 88 full-time kindergarten students in 2011 to 339 this year.

At Monday’s board meeting, board members voted to continue the program as it is offered now, provided the state funding is renewed.

Assistant Superintendent Ann Vail told the board all signs point to the General Assembly keeping the funding in place.

“They obviously have not acted on this particular topic; however, there appears to be optimism that they will again create a funding source of some nature,” she said.

It’s important to approve the program on the local level now, Vail said, so that the school can advertise the program and families can start planning ahead for next year.

New board members Ray Kerkhof and Kathy Dowling said discussion of full-day kindergarten was universally positive last week at the Indiana School Board Association Winter Academy, which serves as an orientation for new board members.

Kerkhof and Dowling, who were elected in November, both attended the session.

“This is something I feel confident is going to be funded,” Dowling said. “They were very positive.”

The board’s decision to continue the program was unanimous.

Should something change in the Legislature as it relates to state funding of full-day kindergarten, board members said they would revisit the topic.

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