For immediate release
contact Crystal Greene, 503-947-5650
June 21, 2011
Superintendent Castillo Statement on Passage of Full-Day Kindergarten Legislation
State Superintendent Susan Castillo today released the following statement:
SALEM – “Today the Legislature passed Senate Bill 248. This bill puts our state on a path to providing full-day kindergarten to all Oregon students by 2015 and removes the disincentives that currently exist in our funding system that make it harder for school districts to provide full-day programs. I want to thank the Legislature for this important vote and, in particular, I would like to thank Senator Mark Hass for his leadership and vision on this topic.
“I have been a long-time advocate for full-day kindergarten and during my time in office we have more than tripled the number of students in full-day programs. But it is simply not enough. Far too many of our students do not have access to the proven benefits of full-day K. Our state can no longer afford not to offer full-day programs to all of our kids. The data provides irrefutable evidence that full-day kindergarten is the most effective change that Oregon can make to promote long-term academic achievement for children and close the achievement gap that exists for minority and low-income students. Here in Oregon, the schools that offer full-day kindergarten have realized huge gains in academic performance, particularly for their low income students and students of color. This legislation is key to providing all of our students with the strong educational foundation they will need to succeed in our schools and beyond.
“This bill is a wonderful start. But it is just that. Now we need to roll up our sleeves and figure out how to make this vision a reality in our schools and communities.
“Oregonians want the best possible education for their students. They also want the best possible return on their investment. Full-day kindergarten is a smart investment that will provide huge benefits to our students, our schools, and our state. Today the Legislature put a stake in the ground and made a commitment to Oregonians that our state will provide all of our kids the benefits of full-day kindergarten.”
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