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COMMUNITY TALK: Maybe 5 Year Olds Can Just Walk Home

The Geneva School District is set to start full-day kindergarten in August 2014.  Whether you agree or disagree with this decision, there is a detail that most parents probably aren't aware.  If a parent chooses half-day, their child will not be transported home.  Yes, the board believes that five year olds should find their own way home.  Why?  To save costs.

Here is their thinking:  we spend $250,000+ to add full-day but penalize those parents that choose half-day by making them responsible for getting their child home.  First of all, you know that the real cost will be closer $400,000.  Secondly, parents who currently pay for daycare will no longer have that cost.  Plus, their children will be bussed to and from all-day kindergarten.  Parents who believe in half-day kindergarten will lose busing from school to home.  How does that make sense and is it even legal to tell a five year old ... find your own way home.

The ironic thing is that the board doesn't have money to transport kindergarteners to and from half-day but they have $800 per money to give to the Superintendent for local undocumented "travel expenses."  That equates to $9,600 per year for the Superintendent to travel from Fisher Farms to the 4th street administration building and to visit schools when needed.  Better yet, in August 2013, the Superintendent received a $4,300 car loan to be paid back over a two year period.

So, what is more important, getting five year olds back and forth to school OR providing $9,600 per year for the Superintendent back & forth his office?

Don't bother to ask the school board members about the Superintendent's travel allowance and car loan because they refuse to answer any questions about it.  I know because I have asked the question at least three times at a public meeting.

In this case, it is not all about the children.

This post is contributed by a community member. The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Patch Media Corporation. Everyone is welcome to submit a post to Patch. If you'd like to post a blog, go here to get started.

Justa H. March 03, 2014 at 05:08 PM
http://www.isbe.state.il.us/funding/pdf/pupil_transp_faq.pdf http://www.isbe.net/earlychi/pdf/kindergarten_faq.pdf Parents should challenge the policy now. What Illinois statute allows for disparate treatment of Kindergarten students who meet the distance requirements? A student will be treated as a K whether he or she attends full or part-time and is accorded the same transportation rights

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