Parents, school officials rally to protect funding for California transitional kindergarten

02.07.2012 | 89.3 KPCC

A statewide group of public school superintendents, parents and early
education advocates are set to rally in Long Beach Tuesday at 10 a.m.
in support of an early kindergarten program that was supposed to start
in the fall.

The state’s gradually changing the kindergarten cutoff age.
Transitional kindergarten classes were set to open in the fall for kids
caught in between — about 40,000 statewide, by one count.

Gov. Jerry Brown is proposing zeroing out $223 million set aside for these classes.

As they prepared for the change, many school districts have run pilot kindergarten classes designed for the younger kids.

Mike Conan’s son enrolled in one two years ago in Long Beach.

“All the kids were younger,” Conan said, “and especially for the
boys, the maturity level was so similar, and by the time he got to
kindergarten, then he was doing great. In fact, I don’t know if he set
the record, but he brought home more books than any of the other kids,
as far as his reading pace went that year.”

The group Preschool California
emphasized these benefits as it calls on the state to restore the
money. The governor’s office now says it’ll allow districts to run
transitional kindergarten classes, but it hasn’t backed down from its
proposed cuts to the program.

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