NH Rep.: Full-Day Kindergarten ‘Morphs Into All-Day Day Care’

A New Hampshire lawmaker is making waves after calling full-day kindergarten no more than "day care."

"If we don't speak our mind and we try to appease everyone, it's impossible. You can't do it," said Nashua Alderman and Republican State Rep. Don LaBrun.

LeBrun isn't afraid to voice his opinion, especially when it comes to the idea of full-day kindergarten.

"It's not really necessary," he said Tuesday.

Nashua mom Amanda McCool will tell you differently.

"He's doing a lot better now in full-day kindergarten and he actually goes to be earlier than he used to it's a good routine," she said as she picked up her 5-year-old son from Ledge Street Kindergarten in the city.

But LaBrun says full-day kindergarten is just asking taxpayers to foot the bill for other people's kids.

"I do feel like eventually, that's what it would become," he said. "It morphs into all-day day care and basically that's what working parents would use it for."

"I just don't think that he actually understands kindergarten, what it's there for, for training for first grade," McCool said.

At the state level, the Republican-controlled House just shut down the governor's proposal for full-day kindergarten.

"I think it's a mistake," said Nashua resident Colleen O'Neill.

"It's offensive to the taxpayers," said another Nashua resident, Diane Beck. "I mean, it's like saying, 'We're not going to educate our children.'"

But municipalities can still weigh the option at the local level. In Nashua, full-day kindergarten is already offered at five elementary schools. The school district recently passed a budget that would expand that to all 12 elementary schools.

"I think it's awesome," McCool said.

The school board calls the initiative "budget neutral," although it seems some residents are willing to pay up.

"Absolutely, I think education is very important," O'Neill said. "It starts early."

The school district's budget, which includes full-day kindergarten, now becomes part of the mayor's budget, which he will present in mid-April.

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