Last year’s state budget included an exciting opportunity to support transitional kindergarten and California State Preschool Program teachers in earning units in early childhood education. The California Transitional Kindergarten Stipend (CTKS) funding is intended to supplement existing efforts and investments to transitional kindergarten teachers and Title 5 California State Preschool Program teachers. The CTKS stipends for teachers will be administered by local planning councils (LPCs), allowing local flexibility in designing a program that meets the needs of local communities. All funding will be expended by June 2017. UPDATE: The funding expenditure deadline has been extended to March 31, 2019.
Grantees must use CTKS funds for educational and professional development expenses related to early learning, including 1) stipends for credentialed teachers to complete at least 24 units in early childhood education or child development or both; 2) registration costs; 3) tuition; 4) Continuing Education Units in early childhood education, 5) official transcripts that prove the required accredited college units in early childhood education or child development, or a combination of both; and, 6) books. First priority is given to transitional kindergarten teachers, then preschool teachers.
On May 27, 2015, Early Edge California hosted a webinar for anyone involved in planning and implementing the CTKS program or training teachers, or anyone interested in learning more about the stipend program opportunity, with nearly 500 participants registering! The webinar presented an opportunity to hear from the California Department of Education on guidelines and logistics of the funding, as well as three counties who have begun implementing their programs. The county spotlights highlighted three different approaches to the stipend program, and included practical approaches to planning the program and innovative approaches to meeting teachers’ needs.