East Ramapo parents await fate of full-day kindergarten status

The East Ramapo Central School District held a lottery Thursday evening to select which students can participate in full-day kindergarten.

There are more than 600 children eligible for the program, but room for only a fraction of them. Officials selected 156 names in the lottery. The rest will attend half-day kindergarten.

There are more than 600 children eligible for the program, but room for only a fraction of them. Officials selected 156 names in the lottery. The rest will attend half-day kindergarten. (9/2/16)

SPRING VALLEY - The East Ramapo Central School District held a lottery Thursday evening to select which students can participate in full-day kindergarten.

There are more than 600 children eligible for the program, but room for only a fraction of them. Officials selected 156 names in the lottery. The rest will attend half-day kindergarten.

Ellin Coyle has a son who is supposed to start kindergarten next week, but she started the day with no idea which school he would be attending or whether he'll be in a half- or full-day class.

Coyle says she was told two weeks ago that her son would have full-day kindergarten, but received several robocalls Tuesday night informing her that a lottery would be held instead.

"I'm lucky I'm a stay-at-home mother," she says. "He's got two sisters who are 3-year-old twins, but what happens to the other people in the area, and what does that mean for his education?"

Earlier in the year, $3 million in state aid was set aside to restore full-day kindergarten, along with programs like music and art that were previously cut in East Ramapo.

However, a public hearing to decide exactly how that money gets spent is not scheduled until Monday.

News 12 was told that full-day kindergarten should be available to all students in the district within the next month. However, until then, parents will have to figure out an alternate option for kids who didn't get selected.

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