Transitional Kindergarten Could Be Spared Budget Cuts
It’s been a rollercoaster ride lately for parents of pre-school children born in the September – December period, some of whom had been counting on the state’s transitional kindergarten law to provide funds for a new grade for their kids rather than make the choice to pay for another year of pre-school or not. No sooner had the programs ramped up than Gov. Brown issued a proposal to eliminate transitional kindergarten funds in his budget for the coming fiscal year.
The uncertainty around funding prompted San Francisco Unified School District, among others, to change its plan, at first announcing it would not offer the new grade then later saying it would offer the classes at just two schools. (Click here for a map of the current status of trans-K programs in different California school districts.)
Now, as you’ll see below, the cuts to the program may very well not go through as Brown has requested. KQED’s John Myers describes the latest development as a “significant blow” to the governor’s attempt at eliminating the program, which is supported strongly by many Democratic legislators, including the law’s sponsor, Sen. Joe Simitian of Palo Alto.
Update Wednesday: SFUSD spokesperson Gentle Blythe says the committee’s action is “not the final approval that needs to happen” to maintain the transitional kindergarten mandate. The district is “anticipating further clarity,” she said, and for now is sticking with its plan of offering the classes at two sites, with a possibility of offering more if they fill up.