Minnesota kindergartners ease into first grade after a year with all-day kindergarten


Britta Arendt, Grand Rapids Herald-Review
September 9, 2015

Of the more than 847,000 students heading back to school across Minnesota this fall, approximately 58,800 are kindergartners – 99.6 percent of whom are attending school all-day, free of charge.

Before implementation of state legislation passed in 2014, 54 percent of Minnesota children had access to all-day kindergarten, according to information released by the Minnesota Department of Education.

“Last year was the first time we provided Minnesota families with access to free, all-day kindergarten, and the response was overwhelming,” said Education Commissioner Brenda Cassellius. “More children were enrolled in kindergarten than we projected, showing how truly necessary and important this investment was for Minnesotans. By offering kindergarten to every child, at no cost, we are breaking down barriers of access and ensuring every child has a strong foundation that will propel them forward for success in the future. Each year, as more students are able to benefit from this investment, I know we will see achievement gaps continue to close throughout Minnesota.”