The idea of full-day kindergarten sparked a controversy in Washington County earlier this year when Commissioner John Munson called it a "full-time baby-sitting service." Now it looks as if the program might be derailed by the state's money woes.
Lawmakers must decide how to solve those problems in the 2004 session, or risk costing local systems money on planning, construction and program development.
Maryland is due to implement full-day kindergarten by the 2007-2008 school year, with funding to come from a $1.3 billion educational assistance bill that the legislature said will be funded only if the state can afford it.
This sounds a lot like the father who promised his child a pony "as soon as Daddy hits the lottery." Lawmakers did it that way because they wanted to be seen as pro-education without making any potentially dangerous pre-election decisions about how to fund the program.