SPRINGFIELD, Ill. — Schools across Illinois would offer full-day kindergarten within the next four years thanks to a bill passed by state Rep. Mary Beth Canty, D-Arlington Heights.
“An abundance of research clearly shows that full-day kindergarten helps to close the achievement gap for minority students, and provides academic and social-emotional benefits to these young learners,” Canty said. “Full-day kindergarten provides working parents with increased access to affordable child care, and gives students enough time to learn, grow, and play.”
Currently, school districts may provide either half-day or full-day kindergarten. Canty’s House Bill 2396 provides a four year period in which school districts must begin to offer full-day kindergarten. The bill establishes the Full-Day Kindergarten Task Force to inform the planning and implementation of full-day kindergarten in the state. The bill also allows struggling schools to apply for a two-year extension if they meet certain criteria.
“As a working parent, I know my family would have benefited from full-day kindergarten, and I want to make sure that all Illinois children have this opportunity,” Canty said. “I am so proud of this legislation and the positive impact it will have on Illinois children. I urge my colleagues in the Senate to pass this bill and further invest in our students.”
House Bill 2396 now heads to the Senate for consideration.