skip to main content

H.R. 1971: Universal Full-Day Kindergarten Act

The text of the bill below is as of Mar 28, 2019 (Introduced).



1st Session

H. R. 1971


March 28, 2019

(for himself, Mr. Grijalva, Mrs. Kirkpatrick, Mr. O'Halleran, and Mr. Stanton) introduced the following bill; which was referred to the Committee on Education and Labor


To direct the Secretary of Education to carry out a grant program to make grants to eligible entities to carry out full-day kindergarten programs, and for other purposes.


Short title

This Act may be cited as the Universal Full-Day Kindergarten Act.


Full-day kindergarten grant program


In general

The Secretary shall carry out a grant program to make grants on a competitive basis to eligible entities to carry out full-day kindergarten programs.



To receive a grant under this section, an eligible entity shall submit an application at such time, in such manner, and containing such information as the Secretary may require.


Use of funds

An eligible entity that receives a grant under this section shall use the grant funds to establish or maintain a full-day kindergarten program—


that permits children ages 4 through 6, inclusive, to be enrolled in such program;


that does not require payment for participation in such program;


that is offered for the full school year;


that is taught by teachers who meet the professional qualifications, including licensure and certification requirements, for kindergarten teachers in the State or Tribal organization in which the eligible entity is located;


that includes academic standards that prepare students to meet grade-level benchmarks;


that may include standards related to cognitive development, socio-emotional learning, physical and behavioral skills development, and recreational activity; and


that, if supported by paraprofessionals, is supported by paraprofessionals who meet the qualifications outlined in the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965 (20 U.S.C. 6301 et seq.).


Matching requirement


In general

An eligible entity that receives a grant under this section shall provide, from non-Federal sources, an amount equal to not less than 20 percent of the amount of the grant, which may be provided in cash or in-kind, to carry out the activities supported by the grant.



The Secretary may waive all or part of the requirement under paragraph (1) for any fiscal year for an eligible entity if the Secretary determines that applying the requirement would result in serious hardship or an inability to carry out the activities described in subsection (c).



Not later than 120 days after the date of the enactment of this Act, and annually thereafter, the Secretary shall conduct a study and submit a report to Congress that—


specifies the number of State educational agencies, local educational agencies, and Tribal organizations that offer full-day kindergarten programs; and


assesses the availability of such programs with respect to each State.


Reservation of funds

For each fiscal year, the Secretary may reserve not more than 5 percent of the funds made available to carry out this section—


to provide technical assistance to potential applicants and to grantees; and


to carry out the requirements of subsection (e).


Authorization of appropriations

There is authorized to be appropriated to carry out this section such sums as may be necessary for fiscal years 2020 through 2025.



In this section:


Bureau-funded school

The term Bureau-funded school has the meaning given that term in section 1141 of the Education Amendments of 1978 (25 U.S.C. 2021).


Eligible entity

The term eligible entity means—


a State educational agency;


a local educational agency;


a Tribal government; or


a Bureau-funded school.


ESEA terms

The terms local educational agency, State, and State educational agency have the meanings given the terms in section 8101 of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965 (20 U.S.C. 7801).


Full-day kindergarten program

The term full-day kindergarten program means a kindergarten program with a continuous duration of not less than 5 hours per day.



The term Secretary means the Secretary of Education.


Tribal organization

The term Tribal organization has the meaning given the term in section 4 of the Indian Self-Determination and Education Assistance Act (25 U.S.C. 5304).