Transition to Full-Day Kindergarten in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania
Across Pennsylvania, districts have the choice to implement part-day or full-day kindergarten programs. The implementation, impact, and costs associated with each program type impact state policies and warrant greater attention. AIR contracted with the Pennsylvania Department of Education (PDE) to conduct an evaluation of these aspects of full-day kindergarten in Pennsylvania.
Using extant data provided by PDE, AIR employed a comparative interrupted time series design to examine the impact of full-day kindergarten on student behavior and attendance in kindergarten as well as on their later reading and mathematics achievement in Grade 3. In addition, AIR conducted telephone interviews with a sample of district and building administrators to examines implementation considerations, including part-day programs, full-day programs, and those that recently transitioned to a full-day program.
The cost study component for this work included a calculation of costs associated with part-day and full-day programs, along with estimated costs of transitioning to a full-day program. Information from this study informed policy discussions at the state level.