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.
Superintendent Jorge Aguilar called the vaccine requirement “a path forward to keeping our schools open.” The mandate takes effect Nov. 30, seven months before the state requirement begins.
The state superintendent, other officials look at challenges, solutions to creating equity for all students and families.
Roughly 1,600 students at Sacramento City Unified schools have chosen to continue learning at home through the pandemic. But most of the kids remain without teacher assignments, and parents say the district has left many questions unanswered.
California will require that all teachers and school staff be vaccinated or tested weekly for COVID-19, becoming the first state to impose such measures ahead of the new school year.
A Sacramento City school teacher was recorded using racial slurs in the classroom. But one question from organizers still lingers: In a district that has mandatory anti-bias training for teachers, how could this incident happen?
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