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Full-Day Kindergarten: An Advocacy Guide is a resource for NEA leaders, members and staff who are advocating for full-day kindergarten in states across.

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Presentation on theme: "Full-Day Kindergarten: An Advocacy Guide is a resource for NEA leaders, members and staff who are advocating for full-day kindergarten in states across."— Presentation transcript:


2 Full-Day Kindergarten: An Advocacy Guide is a resource for NEA leaders, members and staff who are advocating for full-day kindergarten in states across the country.

3 It includes: Research that shows why full-day kindergarten is an effective strategy for closing achievement gaps between students and boosting overall student learning, and why teachers and parents support it. Recommendations for mapping state-level policies and the political landscape pertaining to full-day kindergarten. Resources for planning an effective legislative strategy. Policy priorities and sample legislation created by NEA to inform state-level proposals and campaigns. Examples of effective practices and stories of how coalitions in New Mexico and West Virginia passed full- day kindergarten legislation in their states.

4 The full-day kindergarten advocacy guide was created through: An examination of scholarly research. Interviews with the publication’s Advisory Group members: Kindergarten teachers, experienced NEA state-level staff and elected leaders. Extensive review of drafts by Advisory Group members, as well as NEA staff and leadership.

5 Full-Day Kindergarten Helps Close Achievement Gaps: What the Research Says

6 NEA has embarked on a broad- based initiative to close achievement gaps in American public education. Why is full-day kindergarten an important strategy for closing gaps and boosting overall student achievement?

7 Research shows that: Children in full-day kindergarten classes show greater reading and mathematics gains than those in half-day classes. Full-day kindergarten can produce long-term educational gains, especially for low-income and minority students. Full-day kindergarten offers social, emotional and intellectual benefits to kindergartners. Five-year-olds are more than ready for the longer school day, and do better in a setting that allows them to learn and explore activities in depth.

8 Also: Investments in quality early childhood programs generate returns of 3-to-1 or even higher. Full-day kindergarten provides an essential bridge between prekindergarten programs and more structured learning in first grade. In full-day kindergarten classrooms, teachers have more time to get to know kids and identify and address their learning challenges early. Teachers prefer full-day kindergarten. Parents prefer full-day kindergarten.

9 What Full-Day Kindergarten Should Include: Policy Priorities

10 For children to reap the benefits of full-day kindergarten, they need more than just additional time in school. NEA has developed a set of policy priorities that should be included in legislation to ensure that kindergarten programs offer young students the best possible learning experiences.

11 NEA’s Full-Day Kindergarten Policy Priorities Mandatory full-day attendance. Teacher Certification. Class size of about 15 students. Professional development opportunities for educators.

12 NEA’s Full-Day Kindergarten Policy Priorities (cont.) Full funding of full-day kindergarten programs. Well-rounded curriculum that addresses full child development. Age-appropriate assessments that inform classroom teaching and learning.

13 Mapping the Landscape of Full-Day Kindergarten in Your State

14 First step: Developing a keen understanding of the political terrain as it relates to full-day kindergarten. What should you consider?

15 Current Context: How full-day kindergarten relates to early education and prekindergarten. The status of kindergarten in your state. The price tag of full-day kindergarten. Ways to pay for full-day kindergarten. What it would take to develop a legislative strategy.

16 Resources: Organizational commitment to the campaign. Examples of effective full-day kindergarten programs in your state. What other states have done.

17 People: Potential coalition partners. Parents. Kindergarten and other teachers’ views. Education support professionals. Your opposition.

18 Organizing Tools: Before, During and After the Campaign

19 Mapping the landscape is just the beginning. But where do you go from there?

20 Build the coalition. Identify the groups you want and need to work with. Begin reaching out to group representatives. Get buy-in and support, perhaps using a memorandum of agreement. Decide who will do what.

21 Launch the campaign. Work with partner groups to conduct additional research and finalize a policy proposal. Develop a plan and timeline for implementing your proposal. Develop key messages to support your campaign, and to address the oppositions arguments. Put together a communications plan that keeps everyone on the same page, and the press actively involved.

22 Sustain momentum and move forward after passage (or failure).

23 Additional Full-Day Kindergarten Advocacy Tools

24 Other tools included in the advocacy guide include: State stories from New Mexico and West Virginia. Talking points for advocates. Common arguments against full-day kindergarten, and counterarguments for advocates. Model legislation developed by NEA.

25 To download Full-Day Kindergarten: An Advocacy Guide, visit: resources-earlychildhood.html. For hardcopies of the guide, e-mail Darlene Brooks at

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