HAZLETON, LUZERNE COUNTY (WBRE/WYOU) Many parents in the hazleton area school  district say they have had it with half- day kindergarten classes for their children.
    The district made the move as a cost cutting measure last year.
    But parents say their kids are falling behind educationally .
   As the the I-Team’s Andy Mehalshick  reports,  parents  are pressuring the district to abandon the plan.


Shayne Balliet from Freeland says half- day kindergarten has placed his 6 year old son at a big disadvantage academically

“I am very concerned that my youngest child isn’t getting an adequate education, especially compared to my older child who received a full day kindergarten.”

Hazleton School District Officials cut kindergarten to half day sessions this school year. It cost ten teachers their jobs, but saved the district about 1.5 million dollars.
But even school superintendent Dr. Craig Butler admits the plan may have been a little too ambitious..

“The half-day kindergarten has present some challenged for us.” said Dr. Butler

Butler says the district may have to re-think the idea, teachers are seeing what Shayne Balliet is..

“Some teachers are sharing that the kids are behind compared to where they’ve been in past years.”

The school board says the final say and ..

“It’s my hope that this year we can return to full day kindergarten.” noted Bob Mehalick, Hazleton Area School Board.

Board member Bob Mehalick says the district may just have to bite the financial bullet for the sake of a better education.
He’s only one of nine board members but he’s found a compelling argument.

“Speaking to teachers and administrators we have higher that normal average of kids not prepared for the first grade.” added Mehalick

 Other school board members told the I-Team’s Andy Mehalshick  that have not yet made up their minds as to whether they will support returning to full day kindergarten sessions. 

Remember, by State law school districts aren’t required to provide any kindergarten programs.
The school board will meet on April 27th.A  which time they are expected to vote on the kindergarten issue.