(08/31/12) - This school year, a lot of districts are undergoing changes due to Gov. Snyder's education reform.
Among the changes, districts are required to have all day kindergarten in order to receive full funding per student.
Now just four days away from the start of the school year, teachers and staff in the Flushing School District are in crunch mode to get their classrooms ready.
"We're still scrambling at the last minute here," said Flushing superintendent Tim Stein.
At Flushing's Early Childhood Center, preparation for another school year is bit more hectic this time. That's because they're renovating a part of the building they haven't used in a while.
They're making accommodations for a new law that requires all districts to have full day kindergarten.
If districts chose not to offer full day, they lose half the state funding for each child.
"This became a situation that we had to look at the cost that was involved and we had to look at staying with the half day with half the funding and going to a full day program, and honestly it was the lesser of cost to go to full day program," Stein said.
The move is costing the district about $900,000.
State funding combined with voter-approved sinking fund money is paying for renovations to add five classrooms, five teachers and other necessities.
"We were fortunate we had the room and the voter approved sinking fund money," Stein said.
Not all districts are in the same boat. Some are opting to stay half day.
Meantime, the district believes the move ultimately benefits the students.
"It also gives teachers a whole day to cover a curriculum that they normally cover in 3 hours and 10 minutes," said Kaye Brisson, Flushing's Early Childhood Center principal.
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