Letter: Barrington kindergartners worth the $633,000 increase

To the editor:

While I am not an educator, with training in curriculum development or education policy, I am a parent who takes an involved interest in her children’s education, as do most Barrington parents. Most of the members of the school committee, however, have impressive professional backgrounds in education, as does the school superintendent and the director of curriculum and instruction.  These people all support the need for a full-day kindergarten program in order to provide for our kindergartener’s educational needs, both academic and social-emotional, under the Common Core State Standards.

When asked if he could implement full-day kindergarten without disrupting current programs and initiatives, if the motion to add funds to the school budget failed, the superintendent responded that he could not.

It is understandable that the implementation of full-day kindergarten, which brings 5 new kindergarten classrooms into the school system, in addition to the 6 currently in existence, each of which would have its own teacher’s aide, would add costs to the school budget.

I am relieved that the process of allowing a citizen to make a motion to add funds to the budget at the Financial Town Meeting is in place.  Without it, we would have no recourse, at this point in time, to attempt to provide the funds necessary to meet the needs of our kindergarteners.  It was observably contemplated, upon the ratification of the Town Charter that includes such a provision, that there would be occasions when citizens felt that the budget that was recommended by the Committee on Appropriations was deficient, and that an opportunity for redress ought to be made available to the citizens.

This is one of those occasions.

Please support our kindergarteners by coming to the Financial Town Meeting this Wednesday at 7:00 in the high school auditorium and voting to add 633,000 to the school budget.  While this will increase our taxes, it will increase the taxes of the majority of us by less than $80 per year.  I assert that our kindergarteners are worth the cost.

Tricia Adams

Barrington

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3 Comments

  1. Amy Segal said:

    Let’s be clear that while the Superintendent supports full-day kindergarten he stated at a recent School Committee meeting that he does not support implementation this year. Given that the Superintendent is also co-chair of the Subcommittee on Full-Day Kindergarten that was the recommendation of the Subcommittee also. School Committee member Scott Fuller wisely agreed to stand by this recommendation (he is the other Co-Chair) and voted no on implementing full-day kindergarten for this fall.

    Why the rush? Let’s study this issue further. The subcommittee on Full-Day Kindergarten I believe has only met 4 times and from what I saw of the minutes posted no review of the research behind full-day kindergarten vs. half-day kindergarten and it’s long-term effects was presented.

    Let’s not go against the recommendation of our school Superintendent. There is no reason to do so and again raise our taxes.

    • alldaykindergarten13@yahoo.com said:

      It has also been very clearly stated that without a full day Kindergarten, Barrington does not have the capability to help September’s class make up the lost time they will surely have when they are unable to meet the State’s standards. The standards are here, and they are not going away. We need to be ready now – not in a year or two or until we “wait and see” what the long term effects are. If we don’t implement full day K now, we will have 50+ kids who will not be as prepared as they should be to enter 1st grade. I don’t know about you, but I live here for the excellent education, and I know we can do better than “good enough”.

    • oliviawm99@yahoo.com said:

      Starting full-day kindergarten in Barrington is long overdue. The efforts to make the full-day kindergarten happen in our town did not just start from the 4 subcommittee meetings in 2013 but from many years of discussions, research and preparation.

      During these past years, we see other Rhode Island towns and cities make the implementation of the full-day kindergarten programs a reality. Does Barrington still choose to wait and lag behind? This year is the year and there is no reason to wait any longer. Full-day kindergarten is a necessary investment in our children, our future. Together, we can and will make it happen.

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