petition urging Governor Andrew Cuomo to make full-day kindergarten mandatory in New York State.Many East Meadow residents have signed a
Stacy VanWagenen, who urged her neighbors to sign the petition on the East Meadow Patch Speak Out Board, is concerned her daughter will "be behind compared to other children in the surrounding areas that have full time pre-K and kindergarten programs."
Fellow residents Amy Cruse added, "With the new common core curriculum, my daughter needs full day kindergarten or she will be lost!!"
The East Meadow School District currently runs a half-day program.
The petition was started by Stephanie Cocchi, a Ronkonkoma Mom who believes a full-day program would "provide the foundation for children to succeed in school" in light of the new Common Core curriculum and the resulting changes in standardized testing.
"People complain that the United States is not competitive enough, yet school districts are allowed to cut kindergarten at their discretion," Cocchi said. "Help us stop this, tell Governor Cuomo our kids should be guaranteed full-day Kindergarten, for their futures and ours."
More than 730 people have signed the petition.
According to the NYS Education Department, state funding is available for eligible public school districts that plan to convert from a half-day to a full-day program; districts are eligible to apply for this funding on a one-time-only basis. The Wantagh School District received $554,580 in conversion aid from the state for the first year of its program, which began in September.
A bill currently pending in the New York State Assembly seeks to amend education law to require all school districts offer a full-day program. The legislation needs approval of the Assembly Education Committee before it can go to the floor for a vote.
"It is a one-house bill, it has no companion bill in the Senate," according to a spokesman from Assemblyman Tom McKevitt's office. "So assuming it did get out of the Assembly Education Committee and voted through the full Assembly, it would still not take any effect unless a Senate companion bill is written and goes through the same approval process in the Senate."
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