THE STATE EDUCATION DEPARTMENT / THE UNIVERSITY OF THE STATE OF NEW YORK / ALBANY, NY 12234

 

TO:

Subcommittee on State Aid and EMSC-VESID Committee

 

FROM:

James A. Kadamus

SUBJECT:

Financing Full-Day Kindergarten

DATE:

January 5, 2006

STRATEGIC GOAL:

Goals 2 and 5

AUTHORIZATION(S):

 

 

SUMMARY

 

Issue for Decision

 

Should the Board of Regents approve for inclusion in its 2006-07 legislative program the proposed proposal for financing full-day kindergarten over three years?

 

Reason(s) for Consideration

 

This action is required to implement the Regents policy on early childhood education.
         

Proposed Handling

 

This question will come before both the Regents Subcommittee on State Aid and the EMSC-VESID Committee on January 9, 2006.

 

Procedural History

 

The Regents detailed State Aid proposal was approved in October 2005 and the early childhood education policy will come before the Regents for approval at the January 2006 meeting. 

 

Background Information

 

The Regents have developed their early childhood and State Aid proposals with extensive input from the field over the past year.  Approval of this proposal and the Regents early childhood education policy will complete this policy review and funding plan.

 

Recommendation

 

I recommend you approve the funding plan outlined in the attachment as a companion to the Regents 2006-07 legislative program.

 

VOTED: That the Board of Regents approve the attached legislative proposal for inclusion in its 2006-07 legislative program.

 

Timetable for Implementation

 

Once the Regents approve this proposal, they will advocate for its inclusion in the Executive proposal and enactment in the Legislative budget to be implemented over three school years beginning in school year 2007-08. 

 

 

 

 

Attachment


Full-day Kindergarten Conceptual Legislative Proposal

 

 

Background

 

Currently, 79 districts do not offer full-day kindergarten to all students.  Forty-four of the 79 districts only offer half-day kindergarten.  Many districts have fewer students attending public school kindergarten than public school first grade. The Regents propose to lower the compulsory age of attendance to five years of age and mandate that all districts provide full-day kindergarten for all students.  It is estimated that 13,000 children currently not attending kindergarten in public or nonpublic school will enroll once the compulsory school age is lowered to age five.  In addition, the Regents propose a combination of grants and State Aid to support full-day kindergarten.

 

Key Elements of Proposal

 

  1. The mandatory school age would be lowered from six to five years of age. Parents of children less than six years of age would be allowed to request that their child not be required to attend school.

 

  1. The requirement would be phased in over a three-year period. The 2006-07 school year would be a planning a year. It is assumed one-third of eligible students would be phased-in each year beginning in the 2007-08 school year.  All eligible students would attend full-day kindergarten beginning September 2010.  The projections include 2,000 students in New York City and 11,000 in the rest of the State.

 

  1. The State will provide start-up planning grants of $10,000 for each additional classroom required to provide full-day kindergarten for all students. The planning grants would cover planning time and the cost of materials and supplies not covered by State Building Aid.  New York City will need 100 additional classrooms and the rest of the State will need 750 classrooms. 

 

  1. Current year Full-day Conversion Aid equal to the Regents Foundation Formula Aid amount would be paid to the district in the first year.  Regents-proposed Foundation Aid represents the State support for general education instruction needed for districts to meet State learning standards for students in grades prekindergarten through 12.  Foundation Aid would continue to be paid for full-day kindergarten students after the first year.  Foundation Aid helps pay for teacher salaries and operation and maintenance costs.

 

  1. State Building Aid would be provided for all new classrooms and leased classrooms. Building Aid for new construction would be based on an assumed amortization of capital costs over 30 years.  Voter approval, except in the Big Five Cities, would still be required for capital construction and leases longer than five years.

 

  1. The list of eligible expenditures for Textbook Aid would be expanded, for kindergarten only, to include textbook substitutes including:  non-consumable educationally-based materials such as developmentally appropriate games and hands-on manipulatives that promote early literacy;  numeracy;  scientific inquiry; and social learning. Textbook Aid is based on the lesser of a districtís reported textbook expenditures or $57.30 per pupil.  Each year the total textbook expenditures reported statewide exceeds by millions the total aid paid statewide. The change will provide more flexibility in what districts can claim as an aidable textbook expense.

 

 

Construction Cost Data:

 

New York City

$150.0 million                    Construction Costs

    $9.8 million                    Annual Debt Service

    $4.9 million                    Annual State Building Aid

 

Rest of State

$130.0 million                    Construction Costs

    $8.4 million                    Annual Debt Service

    $4.2 million                    Annual State Building Aid

 

Total State

$280.0 million                    Construction Costs

  $18.2 million                    Annual Debt Service

    $9.1 million                    Annual State Building Aid

 

 

Full-Day Kindergarten State Aid Projections

 

2006-07

 

2007-08

 

2008-09


 

2009-10 (Fully Phased-In with all students)

 

2010-11 and thereafter

 Rest of State)

 

 

The cost estimates are based on the following assumptions:

 

  1. 20 percent of students not attending public school kindergarten will attend in New York City.
  2. 60 percent of students not attending public school kindergarten will attend in the rest of the State.
  3. 30-year amortization for capital costs.
  4. 5 percent assumed interest on capital project borrowing.
  5. 50 percent net average State Building Aid for New York City, 50 percent net average State Building Aid for Rest of State.