School Committee Vice Chair Nancy Sprengelmeyer came out against all-day kindergarten in a letter to the Rhode Island House of Representatives, despite thinking it is â€śabsolutely the bestâ€ť for children.
Despite being in support of all-day kindergarten from an educatorâ€™s point-of-view, Sprengelmeyer testified against it for financial reasons.
In a Feb. 9 letter to the Rhode Island House of Representatives that is signed by Sprengelmeyer and Superintendent of Coventry Public Schools Michael Convery they write that it would be â€śfiscally impossibleâ€ť to implement such a program at this time.
The bill, H 5049, was introduced by Rep. Roberto DaSilva (D-East Providence, Pawtucket) and Rep. Raymond Johnston, Jr. (D-Pawtucket).
It would require all districts in the state to have all-day kindergarten, or in other words to increase the hours a kindergartener must attend class. It would require students to be in class five and a half hours per day.
The letter to representatives on behalf of Coventry states that, â€śWhile both the Coventry Public Schoolsâ€™ administrative team and its School Committee members unanimously support the concept of all-day kindergarten, the cost to implement this program would be a fiscally-impossible undertaking at this time.â€ť
The letter says it would be â€ścost-prohibitive without a guarantee of a State-funding source.â€ť
At their Tuesday night meeting Sprengelmeyer asked Rep. Lisa Tomasso, who was in attendance, about the status of the bill.
Tomasso told the school committee that she did not see the bill coming to the floor because representatives were realizing the impact of sending a bill to communities with â€śa fiscal note attached.â€ť
At the Feb. 14 town council meeting where Sprengelmeyer shared the letter with council members, Councilman Raymond Spear called it â€śanother unfunded mandate.â€ť