Letter: Fund full-day K from Shelton's surplus to better the city's future

To the Editor:

I have been a Shelton resident since 1975 and commend all of the Shelton leaders on the growth of our wonderful city.

So much progress has taken place under their service, and now it’s time to bring Shelton’s kindergarten program into the 21st century as well.

If Shelton is going to continue to grow and attract new families and businesses, full-day kindergarten is an absolute must. Location, location, location and education, education, education!

I attended one of the Board of Education information sessions in February as an interested taxpayer. However, my greater purpose in attending was as a very concerned Shelton grandparent.

I was greatly impressed by the facts and the common sense business case presented — all of which made this decision a no-brainer in my book.

Kindergarten today is not like it was when we were children or in my case, when my adult sons were children. It is not a daycare setting, by any means; nor are we asking for full-day childcare by implementing full-day kindergarten.

Children are being taught to the new common core standards. These are the same standards that are taught to full-day kindergarten students in neighboring communities, across our state and our country.

However, currently in Shelton, these standards are crammed into a half-day kindergarten program. A change must take place sooner than later.

The city is posting an $11 million surplus for 2013. Yes, there are many areas that need funding and we understand that everything can’t be done all at once.

However, full-day kindergarten has become more and more of a top priority issue over the past few years across the nation, with startling statistics proving its academic success and long-term cost savings to the cities and towns.

Shelton is a wonderful community and will become even more so when (not if) we implement full-day kindergarten.

As a concerned Shelton taxpayer, I sincerely urge Shelton leaders to work together, take action now and continue their legacy of progress and good work — by looking beyond today and into the future.

Please do what it takes to work together and find a way to allocate additional money from the surplus to the education budget in order to fully fund full-day kindergarten for the fall of 2014. It’s way over due.

Full-day kindergarten is a win-win for all concerned, and imperative for the future of our Shelton children/grandchildren and for the future of our wonderful Shelton community.

Mary Jane (MJ) Paris