SCAN advocate Mattie Cryer in Colorado.
Today, Governor Polis and the Colorado General Assembly made history for kids when the governor signed into law legislation to provide $184 million for full-day kindergarten (FDK) for all of Colorado’s 178 school districts.
Currently, some families are paying up to $4,500 annually for full-day kindergarten. Now with these new funds, families won’t have to pay for full-day kindergarten. This will benefit more than 30,000 families. And it will provide access for about 14,000 children who are not in FDK already. Most importantly, it will put all of Colorado’s kids on a path toward academic success.
In addition to providing full-day kindergarten, this legislation opens up more than 5,000 preschool spots—the single largest expansion of preschool since the inception of the Colorado Preschool Program. Wow!
The Colorado legislature passed this legislation with bipartisan support. In fact, the vote was unanimous in the state Senate. This is huge!
We are proud that our leaders see the vital need for early learning, and we are equally proud of the role SCAN volunteers played in bringing the legislators on board and ensuring support for the legislation.
To celebrate this achievement, here is a look back at SCAN’s efforts to get full-day K across the finish line.
- Volunteers Daniel Berger, Kiki McGough and Jennifer Spires testified at hearings before the Joint Budget Committee and House Education Committee. Jennifer told legislators “children who miss out on quality early learning opportunities, especially full-day kindergarten, face more lifelong challenges than their peers who have access to these opportunities.”
- Kiki and Jennifer participated in an April advocacy day with dozens of advocates from across the state, where they reached out directly to state legislators in their offices to tout the benefits of early learning and call for full-day kindergarten. Kiki also spoke at a press conference and stressed the urgent the need for FDK in Colorado.
- SCAN volunteers attended town hall meetings in four cities during the legislative session to ask legislators in person for support for FDK. Volunteers wrote their way into legislator’s offices as well—they drafted and submitted a dozen letters to the editors to local publications in support of FDK and sent more than 350 emails to their legislators asking for support of FDK legislation.
- Kids at local elementary schools made dozens of valentine cards for legislators asking that they Have a Heart for Kids and invest in full-day kindergarten. Student Ambassadors at the University of Denver and Metro State University gathered more than 200 signatures on FDK petitions for state legislators.
School by school, email by email and letter by letter, SCAN volunteers and our coalition partners made history and shaped the future in Colorado by encouraging our leaders to invest in our littlest learners.
Join us in saying thank you to the Governor and the Colorado legislature for prioritizing full-day kindergarten.
Not in Colorado? No problem! Learn how you can encourage the U.S. Congress to invest in kids across the country.