All-day kindergarten kicks off for all Minnesota students


When the school bell rings on Tuesday morning, it will call nearly 60,000 kindergarten students who will start free all-day kindergarten.

KARE reports that it's the first year that every district in the state will offer the all-day option. Minnesota lawmakers in the last legislative session approved $134 million dollars to fund the longer day for the state's youngest public school students.

KSTP adds that previously, many Minnesota school districts required parents to pay tuition for all-day kindergarten, which meant some families opted for free half-day programs. The Star Tribune notes that the all-day tuition cost for parents ran from $2,000 to $4,000 per year, adding that in surveys conducted this spring by several school districts showed that parents overwhelmingly favored the all-day option.

Research suggests that children who attend all-day kindergarten are more prepared for success as first graders. KARE's story noted studies linking all-day K to higher levels of early reading and math skills. The Star Tribune story cites studies that show that the full-day option provides the most long-lasting benefits for poor students, particularly those learning to speak English and special needs students. "State education leaders say all-day kindergarten might be the key to reversing the state’s achievement gap between white and minority students," the story said.

Education Minnesota, the state's teacher's union, had promoted the all-day program and is airing television commercials about the educational advantages for children.

Nationally, the percentage of children in full-day kindergarten programs has grown to 76 percent, up from a mere 10 percent in the 1970's.

Next Up

Juneteenth minneapolis

Communities across MN hosting events to mark Juneteenth

Juneteenth celebrates the freeing of enslaved African Americans after the Civil War.

U.S. district court minnesota - federal court

Moorhead man charged after 6-year-old was killed with his gun

Because of a previous felony conviction, Phillip Jones Jr. was prohibited from purchasing or possessing a firearm or ammunition.

Mike Zimmer

Coller: Mike Zimmer is Vikings minicamp's biggest winner

Matthew Coller writes a weekly Vikings column for BMTN, with more of his work found at Purple Insider.

forest service trash

Forest Service finds 2.28 tons of trash on just a 3-mile stretch of road

The agency is reminding people to stop dumping their old stuff.

hail in Burnsville

'Very large hail and damaging winds' possible with severe storms Thursday

Severe weather is likely in parts of Minnesota, Iowa and Wisconsin.

Police lights

St. Paul robbery ends with pursuit, crash, standoff in Minneapolis

Following the crash, the suspect remained in the car for four hours of negotiations with a SWAT Team.