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Knost to Present Free, Full-Day Kindergarten Plan in the Fall

The Mehlville Superintendent said the program would be funded from the state.

Mehlville Superintendent Eric Knost said he’s prepared to recommend tuition-free, full-day kindergarten for the 2013-2014 school year.

At Thursday’s school board meeting, Knost said he’ll present an execution plan to the board in September. 

requires the board's approval by December for January enrollment. 

the half-day kindergarten option would disappear, but Knost said it would still be available.

“I would like to honor the parents’ interest in the half-day option,” he said. “We’ll probably design it around having a designated exit point after morning lessons.” 

, Knost said two schools would not have the classroom space to support full-day kindergarten enrollment. District officials will need to consider alternate spaces for students who would attend Oakville or Trautwein Elementary schools.

Brian Lane, the district’s assistant superintendent for the supervision of schools, studied the potential influx of students the district could see from offering the free program. Out of 940 possible attendees, the district could hold 820 students. After converting existing kindergarten rooms to full-day classes, the district could host 140 more students in its full-day program than it does now, a 54 percent increase.

Knost said the program would be largely funded through the state. When discussing kindergarten , he said the district would receive more funding from the state by going to a free, full-day program than it currently does from tuition. 

Currently, the district charges tuition for full-day kindergarten, but offers a free half-day program to families. In the 2012-2013 school year, Mehlville will be one of four districts in the state that does not offer free, full-day kindergarten. 

Marty Brennan June 23, 2012 at 12:29 PM
So the entire state gets to pay for full-day babysitting of the kids in the district. Nanny state here we come.
Liz June 23, 2012 at 11:33 PM
It's not babysitting. If you care to educate yourself you'll find the information about what is taught in Kindergarten in the link below or directly from the school district's website at www.mehlvilleschooldistrict.com I am delighted that the district is finally offering tuition free full day Kindergarten. I only wish it was offered when my younger child attended K in this district. Mehlville School District Kindergarten curriculum: http://curriculum.mehlvilleschooldistrict.com/modules/locker/files/get_group_file.phtml?gid=2345685&fid=12385651&sessionid=e116f6abd84346a10a9b21cb766a0bb9
Franchesca June 24, 2012 at 12:42 AM
Marty, we are only one of four districts who don't currently have free full day kindergarten. That's hardly asking the entire state to subsidize anything for us. In reality, we are going to be drawing upon funding that we already pay into the system through our property taxes. To address the "babysitting" comment, I'm sure if you spent a day in 5 year old day-care class room and a day in 5 year old kindergarten classroom, you could easily tell the difference. Or, if you're not willing to take the time to do that, you could take my word for it. I've spent considerable time in both. They are very different.
Peter Russo July 24, 2012 at 06:13 AM
"Free" is the most mishandled word in our public school system. Childless couples and businesses outside the district all "PAY" taxes to the state. Our Forced Real estate taxes and casino taxes are paying for "your" child's education. That's not Free. Look at your automoblie personal property tax and home tax. That's not Free. Wake up Residents. The public school system is the current day "mafia". If every resident that has a child would send their kids to public schools ---all our taxes would be at least $10,000 per year. Low side., We need a whole new system.

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