By Sharon Stevens Education Reporter
St. Louis County (KSDK) - Only four school districts in Missouri charge tuition for full-day kindergarten, but that could soon change.
The Mehlville School District is considering offering free full-day kindergarten. It's been a growing trend for nearly 30 years.
Supporters say day-long kindergarten prepares kids for first grade.
It's estimated that full-day kindergarten is the norm for about 75 percent of American children.
Some school districts, such as Mehlville, offer half-day kindergarten at no cost, but parents must pay tuition for full day: $2,050 per year.
That's because Mehlville educators say they couldn't' afford free full-day classes. Now they're reconsidering tuition and some parents like the idea.
To offer a full-day, district officials are hoping that at least 600 students will enroll so the district would be eligible for state financial aid.
Last year, the Parkway School District made the switch to full-day free kindergarten, and the principal at one school says it has made a difference.
Local districts that offer free full-day kindergarten include Ferguson-Florissant, Clayton, and Francis Howell.
Mehlville will offer early kindergarten enrollment for next year beginning on October 22.