Press Releases

For Immediate Release: February 22, 2012

Contact: Keith Hovis, 651.582.8275 or

Commissioner Cassellius Visits All-Day Kindergarten Program in Austin

ROSEVILLE – Yesterday, Education Commissioner Brenda Cassellius traveled to Austin, Minnesota to visit a successful all-day kindergarten program.

Located just south of the Twin Cities, the Woodson Kindergarten Center serves area 5 and 6 year-old students and their families. The Commissioner’s visit highlighted the benefits of high-quality learning opportunities for children in reducing achievement gaps, promoting strong early literacy skills and laying a foundation for sustained academic success.

Governor Mark Dayton’s budget invests $40 million to expand access to all-day kindergarten and provide school districts the option of developing their own program so that more families have the option of selecting all-day kindergarten for their child. The Governor’s budget also invests $44 million in early education scholarships. The scholarships are equitably distributed across the state and provide low-income families with the ability to enroll their child in a high-quality early education program.

“Programs like the one here in Austin are a key component to ensuring every child gets a great start,” said Commissioner Cassellius. “The Governor’s budget would make this option available to more families across the state and help get thousands of children off to a great academic start.”

Along with the investments in early learning, Governor Dayton’s budget makes strategic investments designed to close achievement gaps, reform special education funding to better meet student needs and lay a foundation for every student to achieve success in college, career and life.