This week Gov. Sam Brownback gave a speech outlining Kansas priorities for the 2014 legislative session. A large part of the speech was dedicated to his plan to implement an all-day kindergarten in Kansas public schools.
By Aimee Patton
Special to The Star
The new plan will cost taxpayers $80 million over five years. The governor and other lawmakers understand the importance of a strong foundation in the importance of education that comes from a full day of kindergarten.
Kindergarten is a formative year, said David Smith, chief-of-staff for the Kansas City, Kan., School District. Their brains are young, they are forming. If we can get them in school and teach them well, that really creates a foundation. Thats a foundation for their education for life. So its the right thing to do. Most states already do it and our kids need it so we do it.
Overall, the program will teach a more valuable lesson to our Kansas youth how to handle major disappointments in life.
I mean what is life really if not for a series of major disappointments as we get older? Brownbacks plan is perfect for instilling that very serious feeling of letdown that most of us only get to experience as adults.
Lets give our kids the finest kindergarten education and then when they hit 1st grade they will really be able to understand and absorb the disappointment when they realize that Brownback has cut back on public school education to the point where the Supreme Court in Kansas actually found it to be unconstitutional. Since 2007, school funding has decreased by 13 percent.
Most people only get to experience disappointment in their government when they become adults. Now, Kansas kids will be able to lead the nation in understanding and accepting massive disappointment when they get to 1st grade and see the impact of the cuts.
Think about what an important life lesson it will be when our well-funded kindergartners find themselves in a 1st grade class bursting at the seams because of over-crowding. It really just toughens them up early on for the workforce where only the strong survive.
I love the idea of an all-day kindergarten, but before taking on such lofty plans, how about just funding Kansas education to levels that are reasonable for all children? Our Kansas children in all grades deserve better.
Aimee Patton of Fairway works in marketing. To reach her, send email to email@example.com or write to Midwest Voices, c/o Editorial Page, The Kansas City Star, 1729 Grand Blvd., Kansas City, MO 64108.