Residents in Rochester divided on bringing Keno to city for full-day kindergarten funding
ROCHESTER — Residents are divided about Keno, the rapid draw numbers game that state leaders claim will help pay for every school district's full-day kindergarten programs.
On Tuesday night, a representative from the lottery commission was at a public hearing before the city council. Kelley-Jaye Cleland said establishments which obtain Keno licenses will see an increase in alcohol and food sales. She said they understand the struggle school districts face when it comes to funding.
Residents Gregg Denobile and Lou Archambault both spoke out against Keno, saying Rochester should not allow the gambling game. However, School Board Chair Paul Lynch said the idea of Keno in Rochester is worth exploring. After the hearing.
"A program like this, like the Keno project, if city council decides this is good for the city, I would completely support it. If they decide it's not, then I support that as well," Lynch added.
The New Hampshire Legislature approved a plan this year to fund full-day kindergarten partly with revenue from the Keno lottery game. Manchester, Franklin and Concord have approved adding this item to their November ballots and Nashua and Keene are considering it soon.
Regardless of whether a community allows the game, districts that offer full-day kindergarten will receive an additional $1,100 per student. The kindergarten plan was one of Republican Gov. Chris Sununu's top priorities.