The benefits of making all kindergarten a full-day program in Illinois is compelling to some education-minded lawmakers – but how to pay for it? State Rep. Chris Welch (D-Hillside) testified to a House Education Committee in favor of his bill that would change the kindergarten program. “We have about 1,600 freshmen that came to us, in August, reading at third-, fourth- or fifth grade level. That’s not something we can correct at the high school level. That’s something that starts in early child development,” Welch said.
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In February, the mayor of Chicago announced that all of the city’s kindergartens would become full-day. Chicago Public Schools spokeswoman Laura Farr says, “It’s going to cost some money. I believe the expected budget for this is about $15 million for CPS,” Farr said. Welch said he wants to work with the committee in creating a funding system. H.B. 2405 is in the House Elementary and Secondary Committee.