WAYNE, N.J. — Township resident Katie Scheidt pays $300 a month to send her daughter to enrichment programs three days a week before afternoon kindergarten.
She'll have to pay an extra $4 or $8.83 a month in taxes -- definitely worth it, she says -- if voters on Nov. 3 approve a funding referendum for full-day kindergarten for 2016-2017 and beyond.
"Hopefully, by the time my son goes to kindergarten in a few years, it'll be full-time," Scheidt said.
Wayne remains the only municipality of the 14 in Passaic County that’s still without a full-day kindergarten program.
Parents who have wanted that to change walked out of a board meeting in March after trustees said they were putting the question to the voters next month instead of instituting the move this school year.
Scheidt and more than 550 other residents have turned to a Facebook page to educate the public on the need to vote "yes" in the referendum.
"A lot of people tell me they had no clue that Wayne doesn't even have full-day kindergarten," the page's founder, Tracy McNie Rozansky, said. "This is a grass roots effort to get the word out and get the vote out."
If full-day kindergarten is approved, $2.1 million of taxpayer money would be added to the 2015-2016 budget, Schools Supt. Mark Toback told Daily Voice.
The district would need to issue purchase orders in this budget cycle for the $238,432 of start-up costs, he said.
“The remaining amount of $1,875, 818 for staffing, benefits, etc. would be set aside as a legal reserve and carried forward into the 2016-17 budget to support the program," he said.
Owners of homes assessed at $228,200 would be paying an additional $48 per year and those of homes assessed at $500,000 would be paying $106 more per year, he said.
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