My support for mandatory kindergarten dates back to the early 1980s. My colleague and I served on the Governor’s Task Force for Early Childhood/Latchkey Education as representatives of the Hammond Teachers Federation and School City of Hammond. After two years of meetings in Indianapolis, our efforts were blocked by lobbyists and by some legislators.
In the 1990s, I spoke before the state superintendent regarding mandatory kindergarten attendance with testimony gathered from both kindergarten and elementary teachers. Indiana chose to ignore the expertise of its educators.
After teaching kindergarten for 42 years, I retired with the question of mandatory kindergarten daring to still be asked. Being one of 16 states without kindergarten attendance as a mandate is a total embarrassment to our state and continues to put our children at high risk.
This is akin to a “bad joke” continuing to be told for years. However, I am not laughing, for there is no humor in the preservation of Indiana’s archaic status quo.
Lorraine Kobe, Highland