Full-day kindergarten bill dead for 2021 session

A full-day kindergarten bill is dead for the 2021 session, Betsy Russell of the Idaho Press reported Saturday.

“It’s lost its momentum, is the best way to describe it at this point,” House Education Chairman Lance Clow, R-Twin Falls, told Russell. “I think we’re going to have to get to full-day kindergarten. One of the reasons that I’ve supported it, I’ve not supported the idea of state-sponsored preschool until we get full-day kindergarten. And I thought maybe now was the right time to do it, when we’re emphasizing literacy.”

In mid-March, sponsors had introduced a bill to allow school districts to use state funding to bankroll full-day kindergarten — and move that cost off of local property taxes.

Then came the Statehouse coronavirus outbreak.

As sponsors began working on a rewrite of the original bill, the Legislature went into an 18-day recess. Lawmakers returned from their COVID-caused recess last week, but the rewrite has not surfaced.

Supporters hope to bring a kindergarten bill in 2022, Sen. Carl Crabtree, R-Grangeville, told Russell.


Kevin Richert

Kevin Richert

Senior reporter and blogger Kevin Richert specializes in education politics and education policy. He has more than 30 years of experience in Idaho journalism. He is a frequent guest on "Idaho Reports" on Idaho Public Television and "Idaho Matters" on Boise State Public Radio. Follow Kevin on Twitter: @KevinRichert. He can be reached at [email protected]

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