In an elementary school near Sacramento, students in a transitional kindergarten class practice saying the date. With a little prodding, they shout out the day, month, and year in unison.
These kids are among several thousand California four-year olds enrolled in pre-kindergarten programs. Now state Senate Democrats want to make transitional kindergarten available to all four-year-olds. The announced their proposal today.
But expanding the state's current transitional program would cost California nearly one billion dollars by the time it’s fully implemented in the 2019-2020 school year. Senate President pro Tem Darrell Steinberg said the money would well spent.
“I’m proud to call this wise-spending California. There are few better uses of the tax-payer dollars than investing in evidence based changed providing you people, four-year-olds, the head start that they need.”
Assembly Democrats have also made funding transitional kindergarten a budget priority for the coming year.
But the party will have to convince Governor Jerry Brown, who’s pushing a message of moderate spending. He will announce his budget on Friday.
A few school police departments in California have acquired military armored vehicles, rifles and grenade launchers. That's spawned a new bill in the state Legislature. The bill faces its first committee vote Wednesday.
California schools can start administering the state’s new standardized tests to students. The new math and English language tests use computers and open-ended critical thinking questions – rather than the old “Scantron” bubble multiple-choice tests.
Thousands of juvenile salmon are now swimming down the Sacramento River. They're twice as big as other salmon hatched at the same time after spending the last month hanging out in a Yolo County rice field.
A shortage of teachers in Washoe County has forced the school district to fill vacant positions with more substitute teachers. That is reducing the pool of available substitutes for short-term assignments.
University of California students are getting at least a temporary reprieve from tuition increases scheduled to take effect in the coming academic year.