Half-Day Kindergarten Buses Gone?
Correction: AnnArbor.com has informed me that their original article is incorrect. Mid-day busing has not been eliminated in the budget, although it was discussed. I also updated my post that only some schools offer extended day option.
Have you noticed that the new Ann Arbor Public Schools budget eliminates mid-day busing for Kindergarteners? I know this decision was made in place of completely eliminating busing for high schoolers, another no win situation for the district.
This decision really bothers me because of the continuation of inequity in Kindergarten options across the district. Six schools offer full-day kindergarten, fourteen offer half-day. At some schools that offer half-day, you can request the Extended Day Option which costs $4500. The full-day kindergartens are mostly located in the south/southeast region of Ann Arbor. Based on 2010/11 enrollment, there are 406 Ann Arbor kindergarteners enrolled in schools that offer full-day kindergarten and 851 enrolled in schools that offer half-day kindergarten.
It just bothers me that 1/3 of the kindergarten students are offered full-day kindergarten for free and the other 2/3 would have to pay for it if they want it. On the flip side it also bothers me that people who want half-day kindergarten cannot get it if they live in a school with full-day as the only option. (I have heard that one principal of a full-day school will let parents customize a part-day schedule for their child). I feel like everyone in the district should have the same options.
For our family this change is not a super big deal. Our zoned school is full-day kindergarten. My daughter is probably attending either Ann Arbor Open or Honey Creek. While we were planning to utilize the half-day bus at Open, I can still drive her since I was planning to do it after kindergarten anyway instead of putting her on the middle school bus as a first grader. My daughter will be disappointed though, since she has been looking forward to riding the bus.
What are your thoughts on this budget cut? What about the full vs. half day debate?