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House Bill 19-1262 -- State Funding for Full-Day Kindergarten What this means for Douglas County School District families

May 14, 2019

 

House Bill 19-1262 -- State Funding for Full-Day Kindergarten

What this means for Douglas County School District families

 

Free full-day kindergarten is coming soon to a school near you, at no cost to parents. Colorado Governor Jared Polis will soon sign House Bill 19-1262 into law providing state funding for full-day kindergarten across the state. This means that free, full-day Kindergarten will be offered in Douglas County School District this fall!

 

Why wasn’t Full-Day Kindergarten free all along?

Previously, the State of Colorado’s school finance formula funded kindergarten students at 58 percent of the rate that it paid for older students. This was not enough to cover the costs of tuition-free, all-day kindergarten. Colorado’s 178 school districts could choose to offer half-day kindergarten or make up the difference by charging tuition or using other funds. Douglas County School District’s half-day programs were historically free, and DCSD charged tuition for full-day programs. With the May 2019 passage of House Bill 19-1262, the state will now fund a student enrolled in a full-day kindergarten program at the same amount as students enrolled full-time in other grades.

 

What does this mean for Douglas County School District families?

Currently, full-day and half-day kindergarten options are offered at nearly all DCSD schools, with parents paying for their child to attend full-day classes. With the passage of recent legislation, all DCSD students will be eligible for free full-day kindergarten beginning in the 2019-2020 school year.

 

When does this begin?

We are working to establish as many full-day kindergarten classes at our DCSD elementary schools for the 2019-2020 school year and beyond. Free, full-day kindergarten is coming to you this fall!

 

I already paid a deposit for Full-Day Kindergarten for 2019-2020 -- Will that be refunded?

Yes. Families who have already enrolled their children into full-day kindergarten in a DCSD school for the 2019-2020 school year will no longer have to pay monthly tuition. The deposit these families paid to secure their child’s spot will be refunded:

  • If the deposit was paid using MySchoolBucks, we will be begin processing those credits immediately and the credit will remain in your MySchoolBucks account. This credit can be used for school fees, field trips, lunch fees, etc.  
  • If the deposit was paid via check or credit card, we will work with schools to obtain this information and have a check refund mailed to you by the end of May.  
    • If you do not receive your refund by June 5, please contact the DCSD Finance Department at 720-433-0085.

My child is enrolled in full-day kindergarten in the current 2018-19 school year. Will I get a refund of the tuition I paid?
No. In and prior to the 2018-19 school year, the state funded kindergarten students at roughly half the rate it paid for older students. Under that model, DCSD’s half-day programs were free, and the District charged tuition for full-day enrollment. Full state funding of all-day kindergarten will be in effect at the start of the 2019-20 school year.

 

What happens if I enrolled my child for Kindergarten at a DCSD charter school?

If your child is signed up to attend at a DCSD charter school, please check with your school directly to receive further information.

 

Will Half-Day Kindergarten still be offered in DCSD in 2019-2020?

Families who wish to enroll their children in half-day kindergarten programs, please check with your school to find out if half-day kindergarten will be offered next year. If it is not, you may open enroll to a different neighborhood school that is offering half-day programming. Your principal can help you find and determine the best option for your child. Every school will be determining the number of half-day classrooms based on their community need.

 

I enrolled my child for Half-Day Kindergarten - how can I switch to Full-Day Kindergarten?

With the passage of this recent legislation, we recognize some of our families may want to take advantage of free, full-day kindergarten that will be offered in DCSD. Should you wish to switch your child’s enrollment from half-day to full-day kindergarten, please contact your child’s school before June 1, 2019.

 

Can I still enroll my child in Full-Day Kindergarten for 2019-2020?

It is not too late to enroll your child in free, full-day kindergarten. Contact your school as soon as possible to begin the enrollment process. The deadline is June 1, 2019.

 

Is my child ready for Kindergarten?

Eligible children must be five years old as of October 1, 2019. Here is a  great resource to help you determine if your child is ready for kindergarten.

 

For questions about free, full-day kindergarten in Douglas County School District, contact your local school - or call 303-387-9500.