In fact, according to the New America Education Policy Program, there are only five other states aside from Pennsylvania—Alaska, Idaho, Michigan, New Jersey and New York—without laws of any sort that require districts to provide kindergarten.
Nevertheless, because of the changes to the public education system that have come about as a result of Pennsylvania’s Common Core-based academic standards, not only do nearly 400 of Pennsylvania’s 500 school districts offer kindergarten—they offer full-day kindergarten only. That’s because school districts are finding it difficult to cram all the Common Core requirements into the more traditional half-day.
Of course, that still leaves roughly 100 Pennsylvania districts with either half-day kindergarten or no kindergarten at all. If you and your spouse both work full-time—or if you’re a single parent who works full-time—that can make life with kindergarten-aged kids incredibly challenging.