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Full-day kindergarten and School Improvement Grants

Author: Daniel Ferguson
Publication Date: May 2015

Under the School Improvement Grant (SIG) program, states have the ability to competitively award funds from the federal Department of Education to local school districts to improve the lowest-performing schools. While past grantees incorporated early learning into school turnaround efforts, SIG requirements did not formally sanction using funds to support early learning efforts. However, the new SIG requirements effective on March 11, 2015, support early learning by formally allowing school districts to implement early learning intervention models in elementary schools. The new requirements stipulate that if an early learning intervention model is adopted, it must include full-day kindergarten, though the number of hours that constitute a full-day program is not specified. A recent webinar from two Department of Education-funded centers, the Center on Enhancing Early Learning Outcomes and the Center on School Turnaround, discussed key requirements of the model, including expanding full-day kindergarten. Since the new SIG requirements have brought more attention to full-day kindergarten, this Topic of Interest highlights data sets, reports, and journal articles published since 2010 in the Research Connections collection on policies, student enrollment, and child outcomes of full-day kindergarten in the United States. (author abstract)

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