Wednesday, April 10, 2013 | 2 a.m.
The Clark County School District is now accepting applications for tuition-based, full-day kindergarten at 53 schools next year.
Since the mid-2000s, the School District has offered full-day kindergarten at some elementary schools with the resources and space to offer it.
Parents can pay $375 a month to keep their 5- and 6-year-old children in school for an additional three hours a day. The tuition — which comes out to about $3,100 a year — funds teacher salaries and facilities, and also includes a $100 registration fee.
Since there is no state funding for full-day kindergarten programs, they are offered at the discretion of individual school principals. Some schools serving students from low-income families use federal "Title I" funding to offer full-day kindergarten free of charge.
Last year, tuition-based, full-day kindergarten was offered at 69 elementary schools. The 53 schools offering tuition-based, full-day kindergarten in 2013-14 include Northwest Career and Technical Academy.
Even during the recession, full-day kindergarten has proven to be a popular option for many working parents — in particular because daycare alternatives are often more expensive.
Proponents also point to the academic benefits of enrolling children in full-day kindergarten.
Studies and anecdotal evidence have shown that students who participate in full-day kindergarten classes do better in school than their half-day counterparts by the time they reach first grade.
However, most studies show that these gains are rarely sustained beyond the third grade, except for students who don't speak English at home. There are about 54,000 English-language learner students in Clark County.
For the past decade, state lawmakers have debated funding full-day kindergarten programs in Nevada. President Barack Obama, who launched an early childhood initiative in February, also supports expanding full-day kindergarten nationally.
In his biennial budget unveiled earlier this year, Gov. Brian Sandoval proposed spending $30 million to expand full-day kindergarten to an additional 78 schools that serve students from low-income families. Currently, 114 schools across the state offer full-day kindergarten.
The governor's budget would expand full-day kindergarten to about half of Nevada elementary schools. Democrats in Carson City want to spend about $71 million to expand the program to all schools.
Nationally, about 60 percent of schools offer full-day kindergarten.
For more information about Clark County's full-day kindergarten programs, visit this website.
Here's a list of the 53 Clark County schools offering full-day kindergarten next year:
Northwest Career and Technical Academy