SEATTLE (AP) - Thanks to pressure from a successful school funding lawsuit against Washington state, and a $50 million investment by the state Legislature, twice as many kids will be in state-paid full-day kindergarten this fall.
The change affects kids in 269 schools scattered across Washington, in 38 of the state's 39 counties. The new money is being distributed according to poverty rates, so schools with the most kids who qualify for free or reduced-price lunch are the first to get money for free all-day kindergarten.
Because the money is aimed at specific schools, in most districts only some of the students will benefit from the new state dollars. But some districts have taken the effort one step further and are using local dollars to expand free, full-day kindergarten for all kids.