The 62 percent voter support for the school budget in the Westbury school district clearly demonstrates that the community values educational programs, including full-day kindergarten ["Saving kindergarten," News, June 11]. It also reveals the need to vote for education, especially when New York State does not make it mandatory for districts to have any kindergarten at all.
Early childhood education is an indispensable part of the learning process. It is important to go and vote to keep programs like full-day kindergarten running.
Early childhood education has many benefits. It is proven to increase high school graduation rates, lower rates of teen pregnancy, reduce crime and delinquency, and lead to jobs with higher wages. Full-day kindergarten does not exist just to keep kids busy. It really does benefit them in the short- and long-run. Even those who do not have kids can see the value of investing in education.
Olivia Santoro, Commack
School districts would be shortsighted to eliminate full-day kindergarten to cut their budgets. This would be a huge step backward at a time when students in the United States lag far behind students from other countries on standardized tests in math and science.
For districts to cut kindergarten to half-day is a loss to all students, but particularly those whose English is a second language. The academic and social gains far outweigh the budget issues.
Donnalynn Darling, Garden City
Editor's note: The writer practices law in the field of education.