NORTH READING — School officials have engaged in discussions about free offering full–day kindergarten in the school system with local parents, but there is no simple solution to the problem.

A group of parents met with the School Committee last month to express their concerns about the cost and availability of seats in the town’s full-day program. The 10 mothers were all supporters of full day K and offered to work with the School Committee to reduce the program’s $4,200 annual tuition cost. They also expressed disappointment that seats in the program were limited this year, which meant some families were unable to enroll their kids in the program.

Superintendent of Schools Jon Bernard and Finance Director Michael Connelly met with two of the parents recently. Bernard said he and Connelly listened to the parents’ concerns and established some goals moving forward. Bernard and Connelly will be meeting with the two parents early next month and have developed a meeting schedule forward.

“I would characterize the meeting as being very positive and constructive,” said Bernard. “Michael and I will have a more comprehensive report sometime in the winter based on those conversations.”

School Committee member Mel Webster said he reached out to school officials in North Andover to discuss that community’s free full-day kindergarten program. He said North Andover was awarded “a large amount” of additional funds from the state’s Chapter 70 program, but he said North Reading will be unable to receive additional funds from the state in order to offer full–day K here.

“We are already above the minimum threshold for Chapter 70, so we wouldn’t qualify for that money,” said Webster.

Connelly said since “North Reading has historically been above our minimum target share” of Chapter 70 funding, the district will not be able to receive additional Chapter 70 funds to offer full-day kindergarten. He said North Andover is “slightly under” their target levels.

The finance director said it’s unfortunate that the state doesn’t utilize a “one size fits all” approach when allocating Chapter 70 funds to local communities. He said he has reached out to five or six different school business managers who are trying to figure out why the Chapter 70 funding formula is different in each community. He discussed the matter with the Department of Elementary and Secondary official in charge of the Chapter 70 program as well.

Connelly told the concerned group of parents last month the total cost of the full day K program is about $680,000 and the $385,000 in full-day K fees pay a little more than half of the tab.