Talking points on full-time kindergarten
1. The 2007 Montana Legislature did not mandate full-time kindergarten.
The funding is for Montana school districts that choose to offer
it. Parents can still choose half-day kindergarten or no kindergarten
for their children.
2. Nationwide, about 60 percent of kindergarteners attend full-time
kindergarten. In Montana, only 25 percent of children have that
option. It should be available to all Montana kids to level the
3. The new state funding will allow districts to provide optional
full-time kindergarten without sacrificing other programs for other
4. Full-day kindergarten boosts academic achievement for all children,
especially low-income and minority students. It also lowers dropout
rates and reduces behavioral problems. (Center for Evaluation
and Education Policy, National Center for Education Statistics,
5. Research shows five-year-old children are ready and able to
handle six hours in school. (Early Childhood Research Quarterly)
6. Full-time kindergarten is a sound investment. A $1 investment
in a child's earliest years of schooling yields a $3 return by reducing
the need for costly special services. (U. of Chicago Committee
for Economic Development)
7. When teachers have more time with young children, they have
a better chance of detecting learning disabilities and academic
difficulties early in a child's life, giving the best hope for lasting
improvement. (Early Childhood Research Quarterly).