Kindergarten is one of the biggest issues of the legislative session. Republican Gov. Brian Sandoval wants to expand full-day programs into more schools at some expense. The Legislature's majority Democrats want to expand full-day programs into all Nevada elementary schools at far greater expense.
When lawmakers finally start horse-trading over tax increases, those discussions will be driven largely by kindergarten, and how to pay for it.
Senate Bill 182 had its first hearing Monday, before a joint meeting of the Senate and Assembly education committees. It's the Democrats' bill to make full-day kindergarten mandatory, even at schools with half-day programs that offer tuition-based full-day alternatives. Debate on this part of the bill focused on whether full-day kindergarten improves students' core proficiencies, and whether any achievement gains stick beyond a few years.