Letter: Concerned about proposed program for 4-year-oldsPerhaps many children could benefit from a four-year-old kindergarten experience, but I have to question the funding that allows the program to become a money maker.
By: Sheila Steiner, town of River Falls, River Falls Journal
Perhaps many children could benefit from a four-year-old kindergarten experience, but I have to question the funding that allows the program to become a money maker.
4K was added by many districts that were facing declining enrollments and is now sometimes referred to as a “cash cow.” I have faith that our district would run a 4K program as well as other programs.
However, with guidelines that allow class size to be from 13 to 24 kids, and busing to various sites that contract with the district, there would seem to be some potential for ineffective early childhood education.
While licensed early childhood centers stand to gain financially from the district’s collaborative approach, my concern is equity in accessing the program for all 4-year-olds in our district.
There is a parent outreach component that is crucial to gaining the full benefit intended when 4K was developed. Communication and requiring parents to attend these programs would seem to be a minimal requirement that should be implanted.
I urge our board members to carefully analyze this program. Should they truly believe it is best for our youngest students, at least require no more than the 13 students per class.
Use the “extra” dollars the program could generate and keep classes very small.