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Seattle Public Schools surveys parents about full-day kindergarten payments

In light of an estimated $35 million budget gap for next year, Seattle Public Schools is conducting a survey about funding for full-day kindergarten. Answers to the short survey that are received by 3 p.m. Wednesday will be provided to the School Board during its budget work session that evening. SPS will continue to accept survey responses through Friday.

The state of Washington funds only half-day kindergarten (there are a few exceptions to this for high poverty schools). For many years our district has added funding for a further half day to ensure there would be one full day kindergarten available in every school. Over the years schools added “pay for K” programs as more and more families wanted full day K for their children. For the 2010-11 school year, we implemented a standard $207 per month Pay for K program across the district. Students who qualify for free or reduced-price lunch receive tuition waivers.
With the severe budget crisis, we are considering various options to balance the budget and one is related to Kindergarten services. We want your feedback about these options. Thank you.