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Fairfax School Board Votes For District-Wide, Full-Day Kindergarten

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In Virginia, the Fairfax County Public School Board has signaled its intention to implement full-day kindergarten in elementary schools across the district.

Full-day kindergarten at all 137 elementary schools is a goal which, like many others in Fairfax County, the recession put on hold.

Right now there are 37 elementary schools in the county that still squeeze the kindergarten curriculum into three-hour days.

Shaista Keating has a child that will be in kindergarten next year, and she says half-days just don't work for today's kindergartners.

"Our children do reading, writing, mathematics in kindergarten today, and I believe it is stressful for children that have to cover a full curriculum in half the time," she says.

The board agreed, voting unanimously to add full-day kindergarten to the budget, phasing it into the remaining schools over the next two years.

Board members believe the district can handle the $8 million cost without asking county supervisors for more county funds.

But at-large member Tina Hone reminded parents in the audience that their fight wasn't over.

"I don't want you leaving here tonight thinking you won, you had a victory in a battle, but until the vote in May, anything can happen," Hone says.

May is when the school board will know for sure how much county and state money the district will have for the fiscal year.

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