Source: Assembly Republican Press Release -
A bill creating a task force to study the feasibility of full-day kindergarten programs throughout the state, sponsored by Assemblywoman BettyLou DeCroce, was approved by the General Assembly today.
“Effective early childhood education can provide a rock-solid foundation for later academic and career success,” said DeCroce, R-Essex, Morris and Passaic. “Efficient and productive full-day kindergarten programs can be critical in launching our students to higher achievement, making them competitive with high-performing students from around the world, and making New Jersey more competitive in the global marketplace.”
The bill, A-3972, establishes a 21-member task force to study and evaluate issues related to implementing full-time kindergarten sessions. The task force will review existing research concerning full-day kindergarten; implementation issues, including staffing needs and facility space availability; funding concerns; and curriculum comparisons between full-day and half-day programs.
“A 5-year-old in a dynamic all-day session benefits from social interaction and skill-building, but the most important dividends are educational,” said DeCroce. “It is a springboard to sufficient learning. A longer school day and a more ambitious curriculum can enable kindergartners with exposure to core verbal and reading principals, and develop a solid foundation in mathematics.”
The bill was approved by the General Assembly in June, and was amended and advanced from the Senate in November. The amended version approved today increases the size of the Task Force to 21 members, adding one member one member appointed by the Assembly Minority Leader, one member appointed by the Senate Minority Leader, and one member appointed by the Governor upon the recommendation of the Garden State Coalition of Schools.