Give Now

Delays, Closings and Severe Weather - View All Alerts and Updates

Hamilton Southeastern Schools Will Spend $300K This Year To Enroll 4-Year-Olds

school bus

Hamilton Southeastern Superintendent Allen Bourff says his district will allow kindergarteners to continue the school year as planned. – Courtesy of Hamilton Southeastern School

Some Indiana elementary schools continue to enroll 4-year-olds in spite of a new law that says the state will no longer fund these students.

Other districts denied enrollment saying they couldn’t absorb the cost of educating a kindergarten student.

Hamilton Southeastern Superintendent Allen Bourff says his district’s elementary schools will allow kindergarteners to continue the school year as planned. This will cost the district an estimated $5,000 per student.

“What that meant to those parents was they had already given up seats in pre-k school and already made arrangements for scheduling,” Bourff says. “We felt an obligation to meet those parents.”

Legislators who supported the law last session say too many students attended two years of kindergarten – contributing to a $22 million funding gap.

The Hamilton Southeastern schools will cover 60 kindergarteners out of pocket this year, and Bourff says that bill is an estimated $300,000.

“We size up every child who comes through seeking early admission. We reserve the right to say we believe your child is not prepared,” Bourff says. “So denying the student who is ready for school, denying them that support is depriving them of that healthy beginning.”

Bourff says it may be difficult for the district to absorb the high cost every year. And he says the district has reached out to legislators to consider other options.

Want to contact your legislators about an issue that matters to you? Find out how to contact your senators and member of Congress here.

What is RSS? RSS makes it possible to subscribe to a website's updates instead of visiting it by delivering new posts to your RSS reader automatically. Choose to receive some or all of the updates from Indiana Public Media News:

Support For Indiana Public Media Comes From