Standing Legislative Priorities
Increase funding for preschool programs. In 2019, approximately 58.5 percent of students in North Thurston Public Schools were Kindergarten Ready based upon the Washington Kindergarten Inventory of Developing Skills (WaKIDS). Based on the 2019 WaKIDS data, 41.5 percent of kindergarten students are enrolling without skills in all six of the domains as assessed by our Kindergarten teachers. Within our attendance area in 2019, 529 students qualified for state-funded preschool, but 319 were not served. The lack of access to preschool is the reason children are not served. Children who begin Kindergarten behind their peers often qualify for intervention services in reading, math, and social skills development. With appropriate services available for preschool programming, students would achieve in the areas of math and English language arts at the same level as their peers by the end of third grade. The funding needed to serve 319 preschool students is $2,873,871 for half-day or $3,993,561 for full-day. In addition, there is a shortage of preschool facilities in our District’s attendance area; please provide capital construction funding to support community-based preschool programs.