With possible cuts coming from the biennial budget proposed by Gov. John Kasich last week, Dublin City Schools could recover some costs if the all-day kindergarten mandate is repealed.

With possible cuts coming from the biennial budget proposed by Gov. John Kasich last week, Dublin City Schools could recover some costs if the all-day kindergarten mandate is repealed.

On March 15, a repeal of former Gov. Ted Strickland's all-day kindergarten mandate passed the state House and Senate and currently awaits Kasich's signature.

Dublin City Schools applied for a waiver to push back the implementation of all-day kindergarten last year and submitted a plan in lieu of immediately implementing the mandate. The plan was to, over the next four years, boost the Early Extended Learning Intervention program that helps kindergarten students get caught up for first grade with all-day sessions.

After four years, all-day kindergarten would begin and the Early ELI program likely would fall by the wayside.

According to Dublin City Schools Superintendent David Axner, the repeal of the all-day kindergarten mandate will help the district in several ways.

"There are two major pieces of legislation that have gone through and are awaiting the governor's signature," he said last week. "One, in regard to all-day kindergarten, which will have a positive effect on the district, is $1.6-million returned to operating funds (that would have been used to implement the mandate). But I guess the other thing is what the change in mandate does for Dublin City Schools. It retains the Early ELI program."

The Early ELI program has shown positive results and has helped with literacy and non-English-speaking students, Axner said. If the all-day kindergarten mandate is repealed, Dublin will be able to keep the program.

"There's no question that with the additional kindergarten units (for all-day kindergarten) and space requirements that the ELI program would have had to go," he said. "The statistics and data on the ELI program are just outstanding. We get those kids up to the levels they need to be at."

Though the kindergarten mandate repeal would save the district money and retain the Early ELI program, it also would help with space. In anticipation of providing all-day kindergarten, the district is adding four classrooms to three elementary schools. That space will not go unused, though.

"We're up 323 students from last June, so if you would divide that by 25, you would see there goes that space," Axner said.

In fact, Axner said, the implementation of all-day kindergarten in four years could have pushed up the construction of the district's 13th elementary school, which is planned for the Jerome Township area.

"Now we can still hold off on the 13th elementary school until it is truly needed," he said. "Now we can absorb enrollment with additional classrooms."

Another piece of legislation awaiting Kasich's signature would eliminate Dublin's scheduled makeup day.

Educational legislation by Strickland reduced the number of calamity days from five to three this year. With lots of snow and ice, Dublin, like many other central Ohio school districts, quickly use the allotted three days and had to schedule a makeup day.

"House Bill 36 restores two (additional) calamity days for this year, and it was passed as an emergency bill," Axner said. "As soon as the governor signs it, we will automatically get those days. We were over one day, and the makeup day was May 31. We'll be able to eliminate that day."