All-day kindergarten will be re-instated at Morgan Elementary School for the upcoming school year.
Two years ago, the state was giving the Morgan district enough money to cover half a teacher’s salary and benefits, Morgan School District Business Administrator D’Lynn Poll said. The district covered the remaining cost.
Last year things changed when the state reallocated how all-day kindergarten money was divided, basing the formula on low income. Poll said the change resulted in a loss of more than half the previous funding.
In fiscal year 2012, the state gave Morgan $36,666 for the program. In fiscal year 2013, that amount was cut to $17,327.
Mel Brown, R-Coalville, one of Morgan’s legislators, “went to bat” for Morgan and changed the formula so that the district can continue the program, Poll said.
“By December they had changed the formula so it had a base to begin with, and then the rest was allocated on free and reduced (lunch) count,” Poll said.
By December, it was too late to start all-day kindergarten for the 2012-2013 school year, so the district placed teaching aides in the kindergarten classes instead.
With the change in formula, the district expects to receive $43,438 for the program, “which will allow us to fully implement the program” in the 2013-2014 school year.
However, the district wasn’t sure of the amount the state would allocate to Morgan until April.
All-day kindergarten started at Morgan Elementary in August of 2009 and continued for three full school years before being eliminated this school year.
“Our hope all along was that we would only have to discontinue it for one year because we didn’t have the money to make up what the state didn’t fund,” Poll said.
The school will have five kindergarten classes next year, only once of which will be full-day. The remaining four will be half-day.