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Gov. Brown Marks Start Of Mandatory Full-Day Kindergarten

State legislators increased public school funding earlier this year to help cover the cost of full-day kindergarten. On Tuesday, Governor Kate Brown marked the start of mandatory full-day kindergarten at Beaverton's Nancy Ryles Elementary.

Governor Brown visited two kindergarten classes and said teachers are able to do more with the longer day.

"The educators were talking, the kindergarten teachers were talking - so instead of just quick overviews, they'll be able to go into more depth," Brown said. "As you saw in the classrooms right away, they were already working through the alphabet, working through colors, reading to students - this is a huge step forward for all our children."

Officials say kids who are in kindergarten for a longer day are more likely to pick up key academic skills, like reading.

Before the full-day mandate and funding bump, kindergarten programs across the state were a hodge-podge of full-day, half-day, and tuition-based classes.

<p>Gov. Kate Brown asks a question of kindergarteners at Nancy Ryles Elementary School in Beaverton, on the first day of school, Sept. 8, 2015.</p>

Rob Manning

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Gov. Kate Brown asks a question of kindergarteners at Nancy Ryles Elementary School in Beaverton, on the first day of school, Sept. 8, 2015.

Copyright 2015 Oregon Public Broadcasting

Rob Manning is a news editor at Oregon Public Broadcasting, with oversight of reporters covering education, healthcare and business. Rob became an editor in 2019, following about 15 years covering schools and universities in Oregon and southwest Washington as OPB’s education reporter.