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All-day kindergarten approved at one school

The Three Rivers School Board has approved a permanent full-day kindergarten program at one Josephine County elementary school.

Fort Vannoy Elementary School in Grants Pass is the latest example of statewide growth in full-day kindergarten programs.

The programs have grown despite a lack of funding as school officials have recorded significant gains in reading scores.

Fort Vannoy, a school of about 280 students, has had a pilot full-day kindergarten program for the past two years and logs the highest reading scores in the district among its kindergartners and first-graders.

Other schools in the district offer kindergarten all day for 2.5 to four days a week.

Some lawmakers have indicated they might consider a bill to fund full-day kindergarten in the 2009 legislative session.

The state pays districts half of the per-pupil funding for kindergarten that it provides for students in grades 1 through 12. That means a district such as Medford would receive $3,000 for a kindergartner versus $6,000 for a first-grader.