Full-day kindergarten could cost Loudoun more than $50 million
Running a full-day kindergarten program for Loudoun County’s student won’t come cheap, school system officials told the School Board Tuesday night.
The schools would expect to spend about $50,643,000 in today’s market conditions to build 105 different classrooms, according to Deputy Superintendent Sharon Ackerman.
The costs would be considerably less if the additions are built through modular construction, or in a factory setting, with a price tag of $21,549,000.
Hiring the necessary 119 kindergarten teachers and 121 kindergarten assistants to accommodate the program would cost the county another estimated $12,555,000.
The school system could choose to hire additional physical education, art and music teachers for another estimated $2,130,000.
The numbers are higher than last year’s estimate, according to Assistant Superintendent for Support Services Jeffery Platenberg, because they used this year’s first-grade enrollment numbers.
Ackerman said the students who are struggling in the classroom are the ones get the most benefit from the program.
“The notion of universal kindergarten for students who have lots of resources at home, have done lots of preschool, the gains aren’t dramatic,” Ackerman said.
School Board member Jennifer Bergel (Catoctin), said she thought the community should be consulted before anymore steps are taken.
“I think we need to explore, from an operational standpoint, where our communities feel,” Bergel said.
School Board member Kevin Kuesters (Broad Run) said he didn’t support the idea of full-day kindergarten because academic studies showed little benefit.
The presentation Tuesday night was strictly informational, no further action or votes are planned by the Board.