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'We Are Failing Our Children By Not Having Full-Day K'

A Shelton resident has started a petition to get the city and Board of Education to fund full-day kindergarten.


Lisa Czaplinski is concerned that Shelton students are falling behind.

The Shelton resident is calling on city officials to fund full-day kindergarten, and she has started a petition to garner support.

Czaplinski began spreading the word about her petition in an Announcement she posted on Shelton Patch on Friday. As of Sunday afternoon, her post had 13 Facebook recommends and was the second most popular announcement on Shelton Patch.

"Currently," Czaplinksi writes, "Connecticut has 103 school districts that offer full day kindergarten including Derby, Seymour, Trumbull and Monroe, which is starting this coming fall. Our children are being left behind during this critical time for education."

Full-day kindergarten failed to make it through Monroe's 2012-13 budget process, but it is included in the town's 2013-14 proposed budget, which its residents will vote on this week. Nearby Newtown has a similar history, with full-day kindergarten among items that hit the chopping block in past years, dating back to at least 2010.

In her post, Czaplinski is critical of Shelton's decision to fund a $1.4 million animal shelter but not full-day kindergarten, which she estimates would cost about $800,000 per year.

"We are failing our children by not having full day kindergarten. The cost of having full day kindergarten can offset the cost of remediation that is needed to help students catch up," she writes.

"Our children are being left behind due to budget restraints," she goes on to write.

Czaplinski's petition is posted on the website, Change.Org.

What Do You Think?

Should Shelton fund full-day kindergarten?

Jeff April 01, 2013 at 11:50 AM
I do indeed think that it's time that our mayor of nearly a quarter century lead us into the reality of the 21st century. We are constantly inundated with stats saying our country is falling behind other parts of the world especially in math or science. Now we can't just blindly just accept everything as fact, but if that were true should it be happening in the greatest country on Earth? The trouble I have with our mayor at times, and he's been a great mayor don't get me wrong, is that I believe he's focused on a legacy that is somewhat misguided. The email I received on this topic mentioned the open space purchases. As nice as this sounds, perhaps it's not the best allocation of funds particularly during a rough economy going on 5 years now. There is no doubt that certain city expenditures couldn't hold a candle to the well-being of our children such as the animal shelter, such as the dog park, such as a pavilion down the river walk no one ever uses, such as a sidewalk from the reservoir down to Huntington Center. Argue it's bonded or granted money but it's money, bottom line. And if it's a grant than it's someone else's money from a far off place that will never see the results. Our elected officials job is to be stewards of the portion of the citizens' money which they take in the form of taxes.
Jeff April 01, 2013 at 11:58 AM
To be a devil's advocate we need to entertain the flip side of the argument. Let's have the breakdown of the $800,000 expense. Is this firm? What is it towards? Salaries, buses, both? Let's here the argument of where the city will save i.e. midday buses routes, the new buses we're purchasing. Proponents of full day kindergarten, what are the educational statistics which support this as advisable? In what way will the curriculum of 1st/2nd graders be accelerated and in what subjects and areas will the emphasis be put on? Let's not blindly turn this into the ridiculous political argument that this can so easily be dismissed as: low taxes vs blotted BOE budget, for the kids vs what's in it for me the childless citizen.
Jack Dinsdale April 01, 2013 at 12:45 PM
Parents wanting children in full time kindergarten should pay the expense for full time day care. Why should all Shelton residents pay for babysitting services which is what full time kindergarten is used for........
Amy April 01, 2013 at 12:59 PM
Why do we need full day kindergarten? How much education are the four and five year olds missing out on from those two missing hours? I would assume included in those two extra hours would be lunch and recess, so really how much more instructional time would be added? I have an almost three year old who would be heading to kindergarten in a couple years. I do hope Shelton continues with the half day schedule. It is the best way to ease a child into the rigors and schedules of school. My son will not be attending any sort of preschool and I am a stay at home mom, so he won't be used to being away from his home and mother for any length of time before kindergarten. I would hate for him to suddenly be away for up to seven hours, five days a week. I understand the full day schedule would make it easier for those working parents who need to arrange for daycare. A full day kindergarten would just be too drastic a change for some children. If they go one year for four hours a day, then the transition to a full six and a half hours will be much smoother.
Lisa S April 01, 2013 at 01:11 PM
I think it is unnecessary. If they go forward with it they need to change the cut off date because 4 year olds do not need to be pushed into such a long day. I do not think it is beneficial to kids at all, only the parents.
Shannon Ligi April 01, 2013 at 01:38 PM
I am a SAHM of four children, I do not see the benefit of a full day. It is just too long for that age group. I think we need to focus on security measures at the elementary levels first. That should be priority right now. We cannot put a pricetag on our childrens safety. Focus people...focus.
Jaimie Cura (Editor) April 01, 2013 at 06:08 PM
One "Absolutely!" from Kate Romano Pierpont on the Shelton Patch Facebook page (www.facebook.com/sheltonpatch). One "Yes!" from Gula Nurmatova and one teasingly written and potentially less popular answer, if you're under the age of 18, from Carol Tonucci: "How about all children be in school all day and all year including summer? :)"
Jen Hluska April 01, 2013 at 07:41 PM
Shelton should have full day Kindergarten. Not only will it help our children succeed as Kindergarten now is like first grade but it will help working parents who have to send their kids to half daycare and incur extra child care expenses. I will be signing the petition today!
JB April 01, 2013 at 09:57 PM
Full day kindergarten is not a babysitting service.....all of those against it should visit a neighboring district that has it.....with the Common Core being implemented in 2014... how are Shelton teachers going to implement a national curriculum in 2 1/2 hours when other towns are doing it in 6. Kindergarten is no longer just abc's and 123's.....you are expected to be reading when you leave!,
Teresa Gallagher April 02, 2013 at 12:00 AM
The difference with open space purchases is that, over time, these expenditures pay for themselves and then keep paying in perpetuity. Buying open space is an investment in keeping future taxes down. If the land is not purchased, and homes are built, then the services required by the new homeowners cost more money than what the new residents pay in taxes. That is a fact that is not in dispute. And that puts more burden on our school system, which has less money per student to spend. That is not to say other expenditures are not deserving, just that if you stop spending on open space in order to spend somewhere else, you end up paying higher taxes in the future and have less money for the programs you want.
Jaimie Cura (Editor) April 02, 2013 at 01:52 PM
Couple more reader comments (www.facebook.com/sheltonpatch) Erin Candler writes: "I don't agree. In the realm of things kids just don't do much in Kindergarten - they are too young to make huge educational strides. They get tired and cry and want to go home after a few hours. I think that a wiser use of $800000.00 would be to spend it on programs addressing a poor graduation on time rate compared to other communities." Peggy Bodurtha Camp: "My district has an almost full day 8:15 - 1:15. But then again pre school and K are in their own building. But I agree that K needs to be a longer day, the amount of stuff first graders are now expected to learn is crazy!!"
LeAnne Sheldon April 02, 2013 at 03:10 PM
My 3 kids had half-day kindergarten and did or are doing fine in school. There are better uses in this school system for $800,000.
Richard April 02, 2013 at 04:33 PM
It does seem like a waste of time putting your child on a bus only to have them back within 3 1/2 hours. It doesn't give you much time to do anything, like go to work. You have to arrange for some daycare. My kids were tired after just 3 1/2 hours of school. A five-year old needs activities, naps, breaks and games. Those that want a full time Kindergarten are really asking the rest of us to foot the bill for their Daycare. There isn't much more a young child attending Kindergarten can learn; their attention span is short. A full school day is too long for a 5 year-old. The real push behind full day Kindergarten isn't about falling behind; it is about saving money for daycare and not breaking our schedule in the middle of the day. I paid for daycare and made it a point for me, or a trusted guardian, to get my kids off to a half day kindergarten and my kids did just fine from 1st grade and up. A mere $800,000? Show me the savings by adding 3 1/2 hours a day to a kindergartener's schedule. The cost of daycare shifts from the parent to the taxpayer; that is what full time Kindergarten is really about.
republican April 03, 2013 at 01:22 AM
No...it is not babysitting. It's educating children during their most influential first 5 years. Your artificially low taxes are the reason why we don’t have this service and many others. All residents should pay to educate children. We all have to pay to improve Canal St. build animal shelters and purchase new trash cans. Priorities!
Jack Dinsdale April 03, 2013 at 11:49 AM
Everyone is entitled to an opinion. I like our "artificially" low taxes and wish they were less.
Jack Dinsdale April 03, 2013 at 11:56 AM
Children spending time with parents who read to them, play games with them, and teach them living skills do far better in school and life. Parents must take personal responsibility for children's education. Putting them on a bus isn't enough!
Bob B April 04, 2013 at 09:31 PM
I would encourage anyone who is interested in this topic or has an opinion on it to read this article (http://www.newstimes.com/local/article/Full-day-kindergarten-has-reasoned-support-2448142.php). The issue I believe we are facing is whether we want children in Shelton to get the same learning foundation in kindergarten as children, not only in Connecticut, but all around the country. 10 states already require full day kindergarten and that will increase, not decrease in the future. People who say their children only went for a half day are "doing fine" are comparing them to children who also only went a half day. When the 4 and 5 year olds who live in Shelton today move to other towns and/or apply for higher education they will be competing against children who received 67% more hours of education in their first year of schooling. I believe, and this is only my opinion, that by putting our kids behind the eight-ball right off the bat is a mistake and it's our responsibility as a community to solve this problem. I also see talk on this site about "why should others pay for someone else's kids education" or "full day kindergarten being only about shifting the responsibility for education to the taxpayer". Under that premise, we should never do what's right for the community unless everyone gets the benefit - so I propose we get rid of the dog park, senior and other social services, the parades and fireworks, etc. Sounds like a fair trade to me.
Ajent Oranje April 04, 2013 at 10:28 PM
@Teresa gallagher. Fact is not in dispute? You are quite mistaken, it is in dispute because its not a fact at all. What, do you think Shelton and Greenwich has low taxes because they have lots of open space? Good Lord, wake up. The more businesses you bring in, the lower the tax rate is. Adding 20 homes in a confined area brings in 3x more revenue than what is expended to offer services. You dont have a clue about running a town. There isnt any open space in Greenwich and their mill rate is 9. Think about that.... 9!!! Seymour has tons of open space and our mill rate is 32. Thats almost 4x the tax rate of Greenwich. That means an $800,000 home in Greenwich has less property taxes than a $300,000 home in Seymour. Seymour's 15,000 residents are footing the bill of a $30 million education budget while Shelton's 40,000 residents are footing the bill for a $64 million ed budget. Do the math. $2000 for each Seymour resident, compared to about $1,550 for each Shelton resident. Now add in the 4x more business in Shelton, and you see why homeowners in Shelton have lower tax rates than Seymour. Sorry, you are absolutely wrong. Open space increases the cost to a town because you also have to shell out millions of taxpayer dollars to buy that open space.
Ajent Oranje April 04, 2013 at 10:35 PM
@Republican - Why should all residents pay to educate children? Where is that in the Constitution? Do you pay for my mortgage and property taxes? No? Then Put a sock in it. Private schools are paid for by individuals and they educate our children better, and parents give a crap because they are actually paying an actual expense, as opposed to just paying taxes and not knowing where it goes. Home schooled kids also outperform both private and public schools. So to say that every resident should pay to educate other people's children is absurd. Thats typical communist talk.
Richard April 06, 2013 at 01:06 PM
My 1st grader has the reading skills of a 3rd grader; he went to a half-day Kindergarten. I had a half-day kindergarten at 5 years old and I was an "A" student during my entire scholastic upbringing. The "what about the children crowd?" uses our children as pawns to push their socialist agenda. I will put my son's intelligence against most of the comments made by those that advocate for a full day kindergarten. Let's be honest; lengthening the school day for a 5 year-old isn't going to help if your kid is a dummy, or if you are too lazy to read to him or her at night and help them with their homework. I would have loved to have a full day to do what I needed to do. The fact is by boy needed me more to make his day complete then any full-day babysitting kindergarten class could ever provide. Take a look at yourself, for those that have posted, and tell me you did not turn out fine with a half-day kindergarten. If you did not turn out fine, then full-day kindergarten would not have helped. Respectfully
Richard April 06, 2013 at 01:35 PM
@Bob, I don't expect you to walk my dog, take care of my elderly parents, or provide me with any social services. Fireworks is a nice thing for the town to do, which celebrates our nation's heritage. We can absorb $10,000 for a noble celebration. Anyone that takes part in a parade does it voluntarily. As for the animal shelter, it is horrific. A society can be judged on how it treats the weakest among us, and this includes our pets. Have you every donated an old blanket, some food, or item to relieve the suffering of the animals at the pound? Have you ever been to our animal shelter? It needs to be fixed to handle the overcrowded and understaffed facility. Full time kindergarten is something that is not going to help the kids learn more or faster; that task should be handled by responsible parents. I paid for my kids preschool on the days that my wife and I could not be there. Some preschools are better than others. I paid more for preschool to insure that it was also an educational experience and not a babysitting facility. An additional $800,000 for a full-day kindergarten is not a written guarantee. I know the cost will double, and then triple over time. Bureaucracies have a tendency to do that. The town cannot afford it; I cannot afford it. Let the parents pay for their own preschool and take the time to teach their children the fundamentals. You don't need a teacher to do that. I am sure you did fine with a half of a day of kindergarten. Respectfully,
MAC April 07, 2013 at 05:28 AM
Indoctrination and Data Mining in Common Core...Why America’s Schools. CT and 44 other states with "Common Core" will be on a 'race to mediocrity'! CT and others accepted Fed. $$ with this Dumbed DOWN curriculum and DATA MINING of their children mandated to get the money!! An example is that Algebra won't be taught in 8th grade, because "some minority students aren't ready for it"!! www.theblaze.com/stories/2013/03/30/common-core-uses-scientology-videos-to-teach-students-they-have-right-to-food-housing-clothing-medicine-even-a-job/ "A parent in upstate New York is claiming ...disturbing information [is] being taught to his child as a result of a Common Core-aligned lesson on government and human rights."... "The latest example, he says, is that his daughter and her classmates are being taught a section on the 30 'universal human rights' declared by the United Nations in 1945. Those rights include: • The right to a nationality, and to change that nationality whenever you want to. • The right to a job for everyone who wants one. • The right to “social security” (to be taken care of by the government when you cannot do it yourself). • The right to food, clothing, housing and medicine."... "The U.N.’s Universal Declaration of Human Rights was being taught...over an eight-week period. "The U.S. Constitution ...[for] only three weeks."... "videos...part of the homework assignment from Common Core...produced [by] Church of Scientology."...
Richard April 07, 2013 at 01:10 PM
@Mac, You make an excellent point. The feds intend to raise cigarette taxes to insure that every school district in the nation has full-Day Kindergarten. It is an indoctrination policy, not an educational policy. It will have repercussions; if you take the devil's money you must dance his tune. The Feds have no business in local school curriculum. The dept. of Ed. has never taught one child. It is deciding on a national level what our children will learn, eat, and indoctrination. Keep local schools local; keep the Feds out of it. Don't take the money. If one wants their child to have an advantage going into 1st grade, then one must engage with a child at the formidable years prior to 1st grade. Read to your child; teach him or her the fundamentals before the government gets to them. All totalitarian societies want your child before you have a chance to teach them your values. This is the goal of the Feds under the guise that children that don't get full day kindergarten are "falling behind." We all did fine with a half day of kindergarten. Don't fall for the "but what about the children?" pundits' favorite line. It is not about the children. Why would a bureaucrat from DC care more about your kids than your local Board of education or P.T.A.? Good point, Mac, about the true agenda of the UN, the Feds and the social progressives. I recommend debriefing any child that comes home from school each day, One would be amazed at what is really being taught.
Lisa S April 07, 2013 at 06:04 PM
Exactly why we have chosen to home school. I want my kids to think for themselves and not be told what to think or believe...
Jack Dinsdale April 08, 2013 at 03:03 AM
Good for you. Parents who spend time with their children are living up to their responsibility. When I think about the exceptional children I have known in my lifetime I find that they had parents who played a central role in their education.
Richard April 09, 2013 at 03:50 PM
Two thumbs up to you Lisa. If it was possible for me to completely home school my kids I would do it. I give you a lot of credit. I do make it a point to be involved with my kids after school, and when necessary, reeducate them from their daily indoctrination. I enjoyed the half days I spent with my kids when each of them went to Kindergarten. I wouldn't trade that time in for all money or leisure time in the world. You have it right. Your kids will be the better for your devotion.
MAC April 09, 2013 at 08:23 PM
Lisa, don't you know that "kids belong to whole communities," not to you and your husband? Maybe you missed seeing "Melissa Harris-Perry calmly explain how your children don’t really belong to you — they belong to the collective." ​ Home schooling is great. But foundational THREATS to our nation (in an increasingly FAILING education system) are too entrenched for our nation to survive as anything like what we formerly knew it to be, IF "Common Core" and the like are not rooted out! While most home schooled children are getting a great education, those in the public schools (MOST children) are getting an increasingly "dumbed down" 'education' that indoctrinates in Leftist philosophy, ignores U.S. history and the Constitution, and does NOT equip them to compete in the job market and world today! The above quotes are from this article: http://www.theblaze.com/stories/2013/04/08/glenn-beck-eviscerates-msnbc-promo-claiming-your-kids-belong-to-the-whole-community-and-makes-some-scary-connections/ ALL Americans need to be aware of this, and all who care about our future as a nation, and your future in retirement, need to share this information and get involved protesting "Common Core" with our elected state representatives. Under it, as well as CSCOPE (which they have instead in TX) "You don’t have a right to see as a parent what your children are learning."!!!
Richard April 10, 2013 at 07:02 PM
Mac, I agree with you 100%. I doubt that most people will get it. Lisa gets it. The problem is getting others to understand what is going on behind Common Core. I can't convince my wife; I doubt that I can get a friend or stranger to see what is happening. Those who support full day kindergarten are under the impression that somehow half-day kindergarteners are being left behind. They don't realize that it is about a national school curriculum based on environmentalism and a new world order. Literature and poems have no place in Common Core. By High School the students will be learning from books like Mao's "Little Red Book." Critical thinking skills will be lost and anyone that strays from the group mindset will be ostracized. You, Lisa, and I get it. I will spend my time redirecting my children from their daily indoctrination. I won't waste my time trying to convince others. What you and I write toady will, in 10 years, be considered political Blasphemy. We will be threatened that our children will be taken away because we are not "fit" parents. Common Core is coming and there is nothing you or I can do about it. Right now all people see is the money. The language has been changed; it now about the money and "what about the children." I stand behind my children because I love them; the socialists stand behind other people's children and use them as shields. We will never win that debate. Social progressives always use children. (Hitler Youth, Mao's Red Guard)
Lisa S April 10, 2013 at 07:36 PM
I actually think more people get it Richard, but don't want to admit it. I understand people have to work and need the kids to be looked after all day but I know many home school families that have 2 incomes and make it work because they do not want their kids to be brainwashed by our gov't. and to be so limited in what they actually learn. Our kids are our future and I see a scary future with the direction our educational system and our gov't is going! And even if you don't want to home school spend time with your kids pursuing true learning and their interests so they see there is something more for them out there.
MAC April 10, 2013 at 08:16 PM
I could not agree more with you and Richard about the "brainwash[ing] by our gov't." in the public schools, and the need for parents to be hands on counteracting it! However, we need to share the facts about the insidious nature of "Common Core" with everyone who will listen--parents, taxpayers, and elected State officials who SEE common sense! Also share this with your friends in other states, particularly those in states where the gov't. isn't overwhelmingly controlled by Statist Dems! We are already seeing a downtrend in the competitiveness of U.S. college graduates in the competitive international world of business; and this affects the future economic prospects of ALL Americans--not just individual graduates and their families! The national Common Core State Standards (the “Standards”) were not created by the states, but rather by private organizations in Washington, DC, with lavish funding from private entities such as the Gates Foundation, and George Soros. Contrary to previous claims by their creators, the Standards are not “internationally benchmarked.” "States that adopt the Standards [inc. CT] must accept them word for word and will have little opportunity to add content, the states must relinquish their autonomy over public education, all to the denigration of parents’ rights." http://americanprinciplesproject.org/wp-content/uploads/2013/04/Controlling-Education-From-the-Top-2013.pdf

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