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Sen. Carlucci and Assemblyman Zebrowski’s bill to fund full day kindergarten passes in the Senate and Assembly

David Carlucci

March 12, 2018

Senator David Carlucci (D-Rockland/Westchester) announced Monday that full day kindergarten for all children in New York State is closer to becoming a reality. Sen. Carlucci and Ken Zebrowski’s (D-Rockland) bill (S.700-B/A.1625-B) passed today in the Senate and the Assembly. The bill ensures schools get the continued aid they need to fully transition to full day kindergarten.

“It’s a very exciting day because this bill had never passed in the Senate, despite passing in the Assembly last year. I am proud to have worked across party lines to get this done. Research shows that attendance in full day kindergarten helps our children with early reading skills and improved math skills,” said Sen. Carlucci.

A National Education Association study found students who attended full day kindergarten were more than twice as likely to make it to third and fourth grade without having to repeat a grade as students who only went to half-day kindergarten. Currently, school districts in New York can only receive one year of transition aid to full day kindergarten. Then all the costs fall back on the districts. Once the bill is signed into law it will benefit more than 1,000 students across the state of New York.

“I am thrilled that the Senate has joined the Assembly in passing this bill today and thank Senator Carlucci for his collaboration. It is unacceptable that some students in New York have less instruction at one of the most critical times in their lives. This is about educational equity and we will push for this to be finally included in the budget,” said Assemblyman Ken Zebrowski.

Currently, five school districts in our state have not been able to implement full day kindergarten. As a result, students suffer and fall behind, getting only a couple of hours of educational activity a day. For the North Rockland School District, getting this bill signed into law is imperative.

"As the representative of two school districts with half-day kindergarten programs, I am thrilled to see the Senate passing this important legislation,” said Senator Bill Larkin (R-C-I Cornwall-on-Hudson). “The Senate Majority’s commitment to schoolchildren, their families, and providing first class educational opportunities is unmatched, and this is just further proof. This legislation allows us to become one step closer to making full-day kindergarten a reality for every child in New York State.”

Research has shown children who have full day kindergarten receive more individualized and meaningful instruction because teachers have more time to get to know their students and address their challenges. According to the National Education Association, full day kindergarten can result in long-term educational gains, especially for low income and minority students. 

Children also benefit from interacting with other children from different and diverse backgrounds at an early age. Social interactions help children build relationships and develop language and communication skills. The Education Commission of the United States says peer-to-peer interaction as also been shown to increase a student’s scores in third grade assessments. It is imperative Sen. Carlucci said that we help encourage the development of these beneficial social skills for all children throughout New York State.

“It’s an estimated investment in early education that results in a $3 return for every $1 spent, it’s a no-brainer,” added Sen. Carlucci.

Since 2016, 13 states plus the District of Columbia have required full day kindergarten, and Sen. Carlucci said New York must follow suit.