No 4-year-old kindergarten at Bristol School next year

The Bristol School Board decided not to institute a 4-year-old kindergarten program for the next school year.

Board members said they reluctantly voted to not start the program — which had been in the planning stages — due to uncertainty over anticipated reductions in state aid for the next budget year.

Gov. Scott Walker’s proposed budget calls for reductions in state aid for school districts. Just how much is still not clear. Bristol district administrator Gale Ryzcek said Tuesday he has received estimates of the Bristol district receiving from about $300,000 to over $400,000 less for the 2011-12 school year.

In light of the possibility of such drastic reductions, board members said they did not feel they could spend money to start 4K and possibly jeopardize  other staff or programs.

Said board member Katie O’Neill:

This school district needs it (4K) … but I can’t ethically vote for starting a new program and spending money we won’t know if we have … and it makes me sick.”

Board member Todd Becker, addressing the possible repercussions of forging ahead, said:

If we start a 4K does that mean we lose our supports, our art, our band?”

The vote to not start the program next year was unanimous, with board members pledging to consider the program for the following year if circumstances warrant.


One Comment

  1. John Capra says:

    We have a 4K program at Salem Grade School, when I served on the school board there I disagreed with starting this program. I think parents should be responsible for preparing their children for Kindergarten. In my opinion there was not enough research to qualify any potential gains for these children to justify a 4K program. Not sure I can justify taxpayers funding a teachers salary vs. a day care providers salary for tots.

    I for one was not ready to give up the time with my children, we did enroll them in preschool, but it was only for a few days a week and a few hours each day. When they did go to Kindergarten I was sad to see them go, I did and still do cherish the time I spend with my children.

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