San Francisco Won’t Offer Transitional Kindergarten in 2012-2013

01.25.2012 | KQED News | Jon Brooks

A state law signed by Gov. Schwarzenegger in 2010 required school
districts to start phasing in a new transitional kindergarten grade over
a three-year period. The new set of classes is intended for students
too young to be in traditional kindergarten but too old to be in
pre-school. Under a transitional kindergarten program, students who turn
five years old by Sept 1 in any school year would qualify to enroll.

But Governor Jerry Brown’s recently proposed budget called for eliminating funding for transitional-K
programs, even though many districts have already started pilot
programs. San Francisco was one of those districts, but it announced
today it won’t offer transitional kindergarten in the next school year
due to the uncertainty surrounding funding.

Here’s the announcement posted on the SFUSD web site today:

Effective immediately, SFUSD will not be offering
Transitional Kindergarten (TK) for the 2012-2013 school year. Only
students turning 5 years old on or before Nov. 1 will be eligible for
Kindergarten entry for the 2012-2013 school year.

In the Governor’s proposed budget for the 2012-2013 school year,
school districts would not receive any funding for Transitional
Kindergarten, and the state would not mandate districts to offer it.
Given that SFUSD cannot afford to offer Transitional Kindergarten if it
is not funded by the state, SFUSD will not plan to offer Transitional
Kindergarten for the upcoming school year.

While the California Department of Education continues to provide
updates and the situation may change over the course of the next several
months, SFUSD is moving forward on the assumption that there will be
insufficient funding to offer Transitional Kindergarten in the 2012-2013
budget. SFUSD is providing this notification so that families who were
interested in TK can take action to make alternative arrangements for
their children for the 2012-2013 school year.

SFUSD will not plan to offer Transitional Kindergarten (TK) unless it
is state mandated. The legislature is required by law to adopt its
budget by July 1 each year though in some recent years the state budget
has been passed later than this. Transitional K will affect Kindergarten
spaces throughout the district and cannot be accommodated with such
late notice. Additionally, families need to plan for their child’s
educational setting months in advance. If it is state mandated, SFUSD
will offer Transitional Kindergarten spots at two Early Education
schools in 2012-2013: Havard and McLaren Early Education Schools.

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