RAMAPO, N.Y. -- A bill aimed at providing full day kindergarten to all New York students, including in North Rockland and East Ramapo, has passed the state Assembly, according to the bill's author, Assemblyman Ken Zebrowski.
As of the 2015-16 school year, only nine districts in the state did not provide full day kindergarten.
“It has been proven time and again how important early childhood education is and how fundamental those early years are to the future success of our children. Investing in these school districts and helping them to transition to a full day program is an investment in our students. It is illogical that a child could go from a full day pre-k program to then only go backwards the next year by going to a half day kindergarten class,” said Zebrowski.
Assemblyman James Skoufis and Assemblywoman Ellen Jaffee were instrumental in the bill's passage from the beginning, according to Zebrowski.
Zebrowski's effort has also been supported by a group of local parents and educators who created the North Rockland Full Day Kindergarten Advocates.
Several meetings were held by Zebrowski, Skoufis, Gov. Andrew Cuomo, and other state officials where the advocates expressed their support of the proposal.
"Every study and all research points to the fact that children in half day kindergarten programs begin first grade at an educational disadvantage," said Skoufis. "North Rockland kindergarten students should be getting the same, full education that almost all other children in New York State receive; this important bill will enable the few remaining school districts to correct this injustice."
The legislation will now move to the Senate where Senator David Carlucci sponsors the bill.
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