N.H. House Speaker: Sununu's Full-Day Kindergarten Plan 'Another Expansion Of Government'
House Speaker Shawn Jasper says it shouldn't be a surprise House Republicans aren't backing Gov. Chris Sununu's plan to spend $18 million in the next two-year state budget to fund full-day kindergarten in New Hampshire.
"Republicans I think look at the fact that that's another expansion of government," the Hudson Republican said, speaking to NHPR's Morning Edition Tuesday. "It's no secret that when half-day kindergarten was put in the budget, we were almost unanimously opposed to it at the time, so it shouldn't be any surprise that moving forward, we were not in favor of expanding that."
The House Finance Committee nixed Sununu's proposal, which would help subsidize full-day programs in communities that choose to offer it. It does not mandate districts to go beyond what's currently required, which is only a half-day program.
Jasper said there were aspects of Sununu's proposal that weren't "fully explained."
"The governor's plan was presented as a way to get people back to work. And one of the things I don't think was ever fully explained is that money would go to a city like Manchester, which already has full-time kindergarten. So if that was going to put mothers back to work, that would have already taken place. So there was obviously a concern I had and others shared that if we're giving money just replacing local money, we're not reaching the goal."