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.
Number Of 'Significantly Disengaged' Kids At Sacramento Public Schools Has Skyrocketed During The PandemicFebruary 15, 2021
Before the pandemic closed schools, only a few dozen kids at Sacramento City Unified schools missed three days a week of school or more. Now, that number is almost a thousand.
Schools would only qualify in counties with lower infection rates. Kindergarten through sixth grade is prioritized in the governor’s $2-billion plan, which would need the Legislature’s approval.
The Folsom Cordova Unified School Board voted for its students to return to classrooms part time. It comes in anticipation of schools in the county getting the greenlight to reopen after moving into the red tier of California’s reopening guidelines.
Without clear guidance from the state, coronavirus testing remains a contentious and costly issue as more school districts inch toward reopening.
A closely watched report commissioned by Gov. Gavin Newsom calls for more local discretion and tighter regulation of charter schools.
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