All-day kindergarten is one of those issues that I just won’t ignore. In some ways it’s become a personal crusade of mine, because I had such a personal experience with it when my oldest son was in kindergarten and the experience I had in trying to actually exercise a choice as a parent to NOT have him in an all-day program.
I oppose “free” all-day kindergarten, because there isn’t any actual educational benefit to kids that last beyond the 3rd grade. In fact, in my son’s case, his reading skills actually regressed as a result of not being at home with my wife working on reading one-on-one. The link above tells the more complete story.
So I was annoyed when I read this story about how school districts are grappling with what to cut in order to save all-day K. It really isn’t much more than a few hours of free day-care for parents. I know first-hand. I tried to get parents to sign a petition asking for a half-day option a few years ago and I couldn’t get one parent to sign it. The most common reason? “Oh this is great, I’ll have more free time.”
The bottom line is that I don’t want my tax dollars going to subsidize the free time of other parents. And don’t try to argue that is critical for working parents. Sure it helps them, but my wife and I figured it out when our oldest daughter had half day, so it’s not like it’s a new concept or something.
So this is a bit of rant, but like I said, it’s personal.