All-day Kindergarten Could Cost Idaho $9.8 Million

(AP) — The Idaho Board of Education is considering a $9.8 million proposal to offer all-day kindergarten as an option for struggling students.

The Times-News reports the program would be for kindergartners who score “below basic” on the Idaho Reading Indicator. Education board spokesman Blake Youde says the program would only be an option, and not a mandate for students.

Last school year, more than 4,000 kindergartners in the state tested “below basic,” which means they were unable to name three letters of the alphabet in one minute.

More than 50 school districts and charter schools in the state already offer full-day kindergarten for students who need extra help.

Boosting reading proficiency is one of 20 recommendations from Gov. C. L. “Butch” Otter’s Task Force for Improving Education.