Overcrowded schools seek ways to house all-day kindergarten

DES MOINES, Wash. (AP) — School districts in in Washington state are struggling to plan for new classroom space to meet upcoming state mandates for all-day kindergarten and 17-to-1 student-teacher ratios in kindergarten through third grade.

Those are two requirements of the 2012 Washington Supreme Court order on school funding, known as the McCleary decision. Lawmakers have been seeking the money to hire more teachers but have done little to provide the classrooms needed to house students.

A recent survey of Washington school districts by the Office of the Superintendent of Public Instruction found more than 5,500 additional classrooms will be needed.

That adds up to an estimated $2 billion in new schools across 261 of the state's 295 school districts.

Some school districts have turned to portable classrooms.