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Parents Upset At Longmeadow Cost of Kindergarten

SchoolLONGMEADOW, Mass. (WGGB) — Last month Longmeadow’s School Committee voted 6-1, to charge $3,000 per student to enroll in full-time Kindergarten.

Before then, admission to that program was run on a lottery basis, and cost $4,100 per child.

The committee began looking at the issue in September, holding community meetings in November & December, ahead of January’s vote.

Superintendent Marie Doyle, and committee Chairman Michael Clark say no one believes there should be a charge for kindergarten, but the town is already looking at a projected $350,000 budget deficit.

A fully funded kindergarten would take away things like music programs for grades 1-12.

Parents like Stephanie Jasmin are not happy with the situation. “I imagine it would be very burdensome to parents to have to come up with $600 in less than 1 months’ time, and feel as if you do not do that, you risk the child not going to their home school placement. If you put your child in half day, you risk doing a huge disservice to your child,” she said.

Clarke says if there is a family having trouble coming up with the $600 deposit by the February 28th deadline, there are ways they can work with them. There are many Western Mass cities and towns that qualify for federal aid in this type of situation, and it takes income into account.

Longmeadow isn’t one of them.

To put it in perspective East Longmeadow is eligible. Even with a grant, full time kindergarten still costs $2650. “This has been ok in the past when the half day program and full day program were the same curriculum. It’s not ok now that Massachusetts has adopted the common core standards that make it impossible for the half day to meet those standards.

Superintendent Doyle remarked that full day kindergarten means more exposure, technology use, and a relaxed learning pace. However, teachers are working on curriculum packets for parents to supplement half day students.

The half-day program remains free.

WGGB encourages readers to share their thoughts and engage in healthy dialogue about the issues. Comments containing personal attacks, profanity, offensive language or advertising will be removed. Please use the report comment function for any posts you feel should be reviewed. Thank you.

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WGGB encourages readers to share their thoughts and engage in healthy dialogue about the issues. Comments containing personal attacks, profanity, offensive language or advertising will be removed. Please use the report comment function for any posts you feel should be reviewed. Thank you.
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