A bill that would establish a task force to study issues related to the establishment of full-day kindergarten throughout New Jersey has passed in both houses of the state legislature.
NJEA supports S-2763 (Ruiz)/A-3972 (Wagner, Jasey, DeCroce, Caputo, Singleton) because research demonstrates that money spent on high-quality early childhood learning has long-term academic, economic, and social benefits that are realized well into adulthood. Full-day kindergarten contributes to increased school readiness and helps to narrow the achievement gap between groups of students.
It is expected that the task force would consider the costs of implementing full-day kindergarten as well as the need for additional facilities.
An education attorney who testified in support of the bill before the Senate Education Committee told legislators that as many as one-quarter of New Jersey’s school children are only offered half-day kindergarten by their districts. Ten other states and the District of Columbia require full-day programs.
Amendments to the bill that recently passed in the Senate now require an Assembly vote to concur. The bill is still expected to move to the governor’s desk.