Parents of most full-day kindergarten students in Arlington are about to get a big refund.
Superintendent of Schools Kathleen Bodie said the district is eliminating the $3,000 fee for full-day kindergarten thanks to the assistance of the Town of Arlington and changes to the state’s Chapter 70 aid for public schools.
The school district does not charge any fees for half-day kindergarten, but had been charging a $3,000 fee to help recover the cost of full-day kindergarten.
But under a recent change to a formula used for state aid to public schools, Bodie said Arlington can eliminate the full-day kindergarten fee and the costs will be fully offset beginning in Fiscal Year 2014 by an increase in state funding.
The change in funding will come from how many kindergarten students the district can count toward its enrollment. When the district provided only half-day kindergarten without a fee, Bodie said it could only count each child as ½ a student toward enrollment. By eliminating the full-day fee, each child can be counted as one student toward the district’s enrollment, which will increase the state aid funding to the district for the 2013-2014 school year.
But Bodie said the district will need more funding to cover the cost of full-day kindergarten in the current school year. The district will need about $970,000 and will seek that amount from the town’s free cash at a Special Town Meeting that has been scheduled on Oct. 10, she said.