MEQUON, WI – With a vote of 4-3, the Mequon-Thiensville Board of Education voted against a proposal Monday to implement a four-year-old kindergarten program in the school district. The vote concluded a nearly year and a half long process that the administrative team and school board undertook to study and consider the issue.
Four-year-old kindergarten generated a high level of interest in the community in the final week leading up to the vote.
“A significant number of community members expressed opposition to the proposal, specifically with concern over possible tax increases as a result of the new program, in a time of economic uncertainty both locally and at the state level,” said Suzette Urbashich, Board of Education President. “It is my sincere hope that community members opposed to this proposal continue to stay engaged and informed about the future of the Mequon-Thiensville School District.”
The proposal voted on by board members was forwarded by the district administration. In an effort to engage community members about the issue, the board held numerous listening sessions and openly discussed the proposal over a period of many months.
“The process that was used by the board was very good. I want to thank district staff for their great work, community members for their feedback and board members for their consideration of the proposal,” said Demond Means, Superintendent. “Although the evidence is clear that early childhood initiatives are positive for students, I respect community members' sensitivity to tax increases."
Means added, "The primary reason the administrative team proposed Four-Year Old Kindergarten to the board was because we firmly believe that a 4K program would be beneficial for our students.”
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