Oregon students are one step closer to securing full-day kindergarten programs throughout the state.
On Tuesday, the Oregon Legislature passed Senate Bill 248, which puts the state on a path to providing full-day kindergarten to all its students by 2015. The bill also removes disincentives that make it financially challenging for districts to offer full-day programs.
State Superintendent Susan Castillo hailed the passage as a necessary step to helping all students succeed and achieve in school.
"Our state can no longer afford not to offer full-day programs to all of our kids," she said in a statement. "The data provides irrefutable evidence that full-day kindergarten is the most effective change that Oregon can make to promote long-term academic achievement for children and close the achievement gap that exists for minority and low-income students."
Castillo noted the bill is simply a starting point to implementation.
The Milton-Freewater School District cut back to a half-day kindergarten program last year after funding a full-day kindergarten program for several years on its own. The kindergarten program is a victim of deep state cuts to education funding at the state level.