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Boise Schools Support Public Preschool Despite Idaho's Reticence

Despite an Idaho state law prohibiting schools from spending state money on preschool education, educators in Boise have found a way to fund a few weeks of kindergarten-readiness for some of the city's 4-year-olds.

The Boise School District uses $36,000 from a local property tax to fund four weeks of four-hour days of "kindergarten readiness" classes each summer to help prepare children for the first day of kindergarten. Some children are selected for the program by teachers during kindergarten registration, others are enrolled by their parents, according to an article by Bill Roberts that ran in The Idaho Statesman on July 29.

Year-long kindergarten-readiness classes are set to begin in two Boise elementary schools this fall, according to the Statesman. The school district has received several grants toward the $262,000 cost of the program, which would serve 60 students, but has not yet reached its target for the first year of operation. The Boise City Council has pledged to make up the shortfall.

Though several bills outlining a state preschool program have been put forward in the Idaho legislature, none have yet passed. Another is in the works for the 2016 legislature, according to the Statesman.

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