Kids not ready for kindergarten cost Minnesota schools $113 million a year

  • Article by: EMILY JOHNS , Star Tribune
  • Updated: December 29, 2008 - 11:47 PM

A Wilder Research study adds to the argument for more early childhood education.

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bellamn16Dec. 29, 08 9:02 PM

...but what does it cost the kids who haven't received early childhood education? Sure, it would cost three times as much to intervene at age 3, but what do these kids lose by not having the intervention? Do they ever recover? Do they succeed in school? Do they graduate? Have lucrative/rewarding careers? End up in prison? We can't just look at the school costs side by side. Look at the life of the child...it might very well be worth that $337 million.

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mrsiceDec. 29, 08 9:16 PM

After reading this article, I'm left wondering what, exactly, are the entrance requirements for kindergarten. I am the mother of a 6 year old 1st grader and a 4 year old preschooler. I can tell you that I've never been notified by the state, county, city, or school district as to what is expected of my children upon entrance to kindergarten. It has always been my understanding that the goal of kindergarten is to prepare young children for school. Now we need to prepare our children to begin preparing for school? My kids attended preschool, not to prepare for kindergarten. They went to preschool to do what 3 & 4 year olds should be doing - playing, painting, singing, and just being kids. I don't think we need to force preschool on people. We just need better parents.

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dgb049Dec. 29, 08 9:26 PM

No money is being lost, no revenue is being lost... It's just a con game. The Feds say one thing, then our state feels it 'must' comply, then we get stats that we are losing money! Try as hard as you like, the state can't replace the parents, unless we stop them from breeding.

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bellamn16Dec. 29, 08 9:27 PM

1. Turn 5 by Sept. 1 of that year 2. Go to a kindergarten screening 3. Get your shots............ The problem isn't kindergarten. It's the disparity between the haves and have nots of early childhood education. Only a small percentage of children qualify for free Pre-K services, and the fact of the matter is, regardless of when you start free public education for all, there's going to be a wide gap unless you start intervening before age 4 (brain development slows dramatically after the first 4 years of life).

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laurawhisneyDec. 29, 08 9:31 PM

When my kids went to Kindergarten, it was for a half-day and they learned letters and sounds, counted to 10, and played. Today they need to be able to recognize letters & know the sounds they make when they start in the fall. They are expected to be reading about halfway through the year. They go all day, have music, Phy Ed, computer times. If they go as a young 5 year old they are going to struggle, because they are not mature enough to handle all the transitions that are required. The curriculum from the upper grades is being pushed down to the youngest children, and many of them are just not ready for it.

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hevans32Dec. 29, 08 9:35 PM

I am the mother of a just turned 5 year old daughter. She took the entrance test right after she turned 4 and because it was a month later she had to take it at what a 4 year old would take. Most of the other children took theirs at the 3 year old level. Guess what, she passed with a level that was over that of a 4 1/2 year old. She was only 4. I had her retested just to make sure and at the age of 4.5 she tested out to be at that of a 5.5 year old. Guess she is ready for Kindergarten. She is a social butterfly that gets along with most, she can read, draw, count, say the alphabet and write her name. I believe this is what is needed to go to Kindergarten. She got all of this through her home daycare and didn't need extra money I didn't have paid for pre-school. I can't even get assistance for daycare, let alone preschool. Maybe if preschool is made public like Kindegarten, maybe more parents would do it! Maybe if your child has behavioral issues, preschool is the way to go. Otherwise leave the rest of the children who are well behaved alone.

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larazascumDec. 29, 08 9:57 PM

All hunans deserve education. Who cares if migrants do not pay taxes. All children deserve an education no matter where they are from.

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vicmar610Dec. 29, 0810:04 PM

I am a mother of two. One who went to preschool the other who didn't. I can see what a big difference preschool can make on a kid. I wasn't able to afford or get any financial help to send my son and he is struggling in school even though he took the entrance test saying he was ready. He is the youngest in his class but I truly believe that going to preschool could've prepaired him better for kindergarten. Prepairing meaning the way he behaves in class and knowing that this is a place to learn not a place for play something that he may have been able to learn during preschool. My daughter however had the benefit of going and she is doing great academically. If there was a way to make preschool available to everyone, even if it is a half day I think many children would benefit and less dropouts in the long run.

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waldronDec. 29, 0810:09 PM

starts with "unprepared for kindergarten", but ends with part of the cost includes those "who drop out before graduating"?? What - graduating from kindergarten???? What "lost revenue"??? Public school revenue = fed & state funding = tax dollars. So, let's send our kids to school EARLIER, so we pay more money... I mean so they make more money. Next step: the little 3-year olds will be UNPREPARED for pre-K!!! So, let's just hand over our babies, at birth to the GOVT, so they can be indoctrinated... oh, I'm sorry - I mean educated. Stop this lunacy and fraud. And some are worried about "big business"...

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holymooseDec. 29, 0810:20 PM

Teach them how to count. Reward them for learning. Show them manners by your example. Encourage them to speak English. Do not send your children to kindergarten abused, neglected, malnourished, or underfed, or they will end up just like you.

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