Gov. Sam Brownback thought that having the state fund all-day kindergarten instead of only half-day was something nearly everyone could support. But the GOP education committee leaders aren’t yet convinced that it’s a good idea, and Democrats question where the money will come from. “I don’t know if I’m sold on all-day kindergarten,” Rep. Kasha Kelley, R-Arkansas City, chairwoman of the House Education Committee, told the Arkansas City Traveler. Senate Education Committee Chairman Steve Abrams, R-Arkansas City, is also unsure about the proposal and the benefits of all-day kindergarten. Brownback proposed phasing in the full funding over five years, paying for a $16.3 million increase next fiscal year out of the state’s ending balance. But Democrats note that the cumulative cost of the funding increases over five years would be $244.5 million, and the state’s ending balance was already projected to be exhausted within five years – even without considering the likelihood that the state will lose its school-funding lawsuit.
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