Push for Free, All-Day Kindergarten Statewide

Updated: 04/05/2013 6:03 PM KSTP.com By: Jessica Miles

All-day kindergarten, one lawmaker says it's a must to help Minnesota kids improve academic achievement.

The state currently pays school districts for half-day kindergarten, parents generally pay for full day.

In the west metro, it costs anywhere from $3,300 in Edina to $4,100 in Minnetonka per student to send them to all-day kindergarten.

One lawmaker says that's a strain on parents, and it is leaving out a specific group of kids that could benefit from free, all-day school.

"The earlier we start with a formal education with these children the easier it is for them to achieve, " said Representative Yvonne Selcer.

Not everyone agrees funding is the answer.

Republican Senator Roger Chamberlain says there are some Minneapolis schools that have been awarded for closing the achievement gap, they focus on quality in the classroom and parent involvement, he says that's the key to helping our children learn and grow.