Republican Leaders Announce All-Day Kindergarten Study

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TOPEKA, Kan— House Speaker Ray Merrick (R-Stilwell), Majority Leader Jene Vickrey (R-Louisburg) and Speaker Pro Tem Peggy Mast (R-Emporia) announced Tuesday the formation of a special committee to study possible implementation of statewide all-day Kindergarten as proposed by Gov. Sam Brownback.

The committee will examine the proposal and the possible value for communities and the current school funding formula. The committee will also study the impact of past at-risk spending.

Speaker Merrick noted “many school districts in the state that already have all-day Kindergarten, so the committee will have numerous case studies to look over,”

The proposal from the Brownback administration puts the cost at $16 million in the first year, totaling approximately $80 million over five years.

"Traditionally, decisions regarding the funding of specific programs, such as all-day kindergarten, have been made by locally elected school boards,” said Majority Leader Vickrey. “The legislature should carefully consider how to best invest in our children’s education before committing to an additional $80+ million.”

The committee will be made up of seven Republicans and two Democrats. Member assignments will be announced in the coming days.