DENVER -- Gov. Jared Polis made the funding his mission from the start and if it passes, the bill would allow for all children in Colorado to go to all-day kindergarten for free.
The legislation is now through the Joint Budget Committee and awaits a vote from state legislators. The bill calls for setting aside $185 million in funding.
“Right now, full-day kindergarten in our state is really the picture of inequality. It’s very sporadic. What you get depends on chance, where you live, how much money you have," Gov. Polis said. “Every child, no matter where they live, no matter the wealth of their parents, no matter their race, deserves a strong start that early childhood education can provide.”
Currently, tuition payments are required for a child to spend all day at school. Some districts charge $300 or more a month.
“The research has been there for decades," said Dr. Lisa Roy with Denver Public Schools.
Dr. Roy states data shows kids who stay at school all day are better off.
“They’re more likely to read at grade level, graduate from high school and/or go to college," said Dr. Roy.
The plan is optional. School districts can decide to opt out. If passed, it would take effect next year.