(Indianapolis, Ind.) – State funding for full-day kindergarten at Indiana schools is more than doubling this school year.
The Indiana Department of Education announced this week that the funding will increase by $81.9 million to $189 million statewide. The funds will be distributed to the state’s 338 public school districts on Friday.
Dearborn County’s three school districts will receive a combined $1.5 million.
This school year, 79,110 students statewide are enrolled in full day kindergarten, compared to 66,401 in the 2011-2012 school year.
Earlier this year, state lawmakers approved increased funding for FDK, a cornerstone of Governor Mitch Daniels education reform agenda. The increase guarantees school districts $2,400 per full day student.
“Governor Daniels put a much needed and long overdue focus on early childhood education in Indiana, and he fulfilled his promise to provide funds for all students whose families choose to enroll their children in full day kindergarten programs,” Superintendent of Public Instruction Dr. Tony Bennett said. “Today’s discussions about expanding learning opportunities for our youngest students would not be possible without his efforts and achievements to boost full day kindergarten in our state.”
The state funding for full day kindergarten has grown from $8.5 million in the program’s first year in 2005 when 10,247 students enrolled.
State law dictates that schools receiving a share of the $189 million FDK funds must not charge parents tuition fees for kindergartners attending all day.