Eight Thurston County elementary schools have received extra money to offer new full-time kindergarten programs during the 2013-14 school year.
Across the state, 269 schools received the additional funding, the Superintendent of Public Instruction announced Monday.
“State funding of full-day kindergarten is a critical component of basic education,” superintendent Randy Dorn said in a news release. “Getting students off to a strong start benefits them as they move through the rest of the grades.”
In 2006, the Legislature set a goal to offer voluntary full-time kindergarten to all students by the 2017-18 school year. The new funds double the number of state-funded all-day kindergarten spots in the state, from 22 percent, or 17,603 students, to 44 percent, or 35,420 students, according to the news release.
The Thurston County schools that received new funding for the upcoming school year are:
*Lydia Hawk, Pleasant Glade, Meadows and Lacey Elementary School in North Thurston Public Schools.
*Garfield Elementary School in the Olympia School District.
*Rainier Elementary School in the Rainier School District.
*Rochester Primary School in the Rochester School District.
*Fort Stevens Elementary School in Yelm Community Schools.
Despite being eligible to receive state funding, not all school districts were able to accept the money, according to the news release.
For example, the Mukilteo School District doesn’t have classroom space to accommodate full-time kindergarten programs at this time.
In addition, some districts did not qualify for this round of the funding because priority was placed on schools with higher levels of low-income families, according to OSPI spokeswoman Kristen Jaudon.
Lisa Pemberton: 360-754-5433