Bill Description: House Bill 331 creates a new “Educational Support Program” to give more money to school districts for full-day kindergarten programs. The bill requires an increase of up to $42.1 million for ongoing, yearly spending to maintain the new program.
Does it create, expand, or enlarge any agency, board, program, function, or activity of government? Conversely, does it eliminate or curtail the size or scope of government?
House Bill 331 creates the “Educational Support Program” to entice public schools to provide full-day kindergarten. Currently, public schools have the option to provide full-day kindergarten to students if they have enough funds from supplemental levies. The bill provides additional funding to public schools to encourage them to offer full-day kindergarten. Children struggle academically in kindergarten due to schools providing a poor educational foundation, not because they need more seat time in public school classrooms. House Bill 331 expands government by encouraging public schools to increase school hours and keep children out of the home.
Does it transfer a function of the private sector to the government? Conversely does it eliminate a function of government or return a function of government to the private sector?
There are many private options for after-school day care and other educational programs for kindergarten-age children. This bill incentives school districts to provide full-day kindergarten which could encourage working parents to keep their children in public schools all day instead of considering a private alternative.
Does it increase government spending (for objectionable purposes) or debt? Conversely, does it decrease government spending or debt?
This bill would increase government spending by a maximum of $42.1 million in FY 2022. This would be an ongoing, yearly expense to maintain full-day kindergarten programs in public schools. The bill’s advocates argue that providing schools with more general fund dollars will reduce the financial pressure on property taxpayers statewide. However, the bill does not contain a provision to lower property taxes. Under House Bill 331, government spending increases, and school districts are still free to rely on supplemental levies.
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