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Adios All-Day Kindergarten?

By John Published: January 17, 2011

The Columbus Dispatch reports that a Republican-sponsored bill would elminate the mandate for all schools to offer free all-day kindergarten. Many districts  have been putting off this requirement in the former governor's evidence-based model for school funding by seeking one-year waivers. This bill, if passed, would eliminate the mandate and allow districts that charge tuition for full day kindergarten to continue charging.

Making good on campaign promises, Republicans in the Ohio House are preparing legislation to repeal key elements of Ohio's school-funding setup, including a requirement that school districts offer tuition-free, all-day kindergarten.

The bill's sponsor, Rep. Randy Gardner, R-Bowling Green, said he hopes the legislation to undo much of former Gov. Ted Strickland's evidence-based model will "send a strong message from Columbus that there is mandate relief and cost savings on the way as (district officials) plan for the next school year."

Gardner's measure also would wipe out a plan to fund smaller class sizes throughout Ohio schools.

The bill, which he plans to introduce next week, has about 30 co-sponsors. Gardner said he wants it passed by mid-March, before Gov. John Kasich rolls out his two-year state budget.

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