A loophole in how Michigan distributes per pupil revenue has long allowed public schools to get twice what they really deserved for half-day kindergarten students. But charging for extended day kindergarten amounts to taxing residents twice. For this and other reasons I am advocating a district-wide switch to a no-fee All Day Kindergarten program for 2010-11.
In my last post and at the Board of Education meeting on January 25th I spent a great deal of time emphasizing that Michigan public schools derive their revenue on a per pupil basis. The per pupil funding is known as the Foundation Allowance. The Foundation Allowance does not distinguish between between a half-day student and a regular, full-day student. This has been a pretty good deal for school districts.
Why? Simple. If we receive full per pupil funding for half-day kindergarten students it means that we essentially educate them at half the cost of most of our other students. This is good for the district and, arguably, the other district services subsidized by the business model.
But it’s not so good if you are among the ever growing group of families who prefer their son or daughter go for more than half a day of kindergarten. In response to this demand school districts have created programs called Extended Day Kindergarten (EDK). But many districts, including GPPSS, charge a fee for EDK.