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A win for transitional kindergarten

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Thoughts on Public Education

Gov. Brown’s latest proposal to eliminate Transitional Kindergarten hit a wall yesterday in the state Assembly. By a 3-to-1 vote along party lines, the budget subcommittee on education finance rejected the governor’s plan.

“Eliminating the TK mandate would be a huge step backward for the state and early education,” said subcommittee chair Susan Bonilla, a Contra Costa County Democrat, citing research on the benefits of giving not quite five-year-olds a year of kindergarten readiness. “We expect to see lower retention rates, less remediation, fewer special education placements, and higher test scores,” she said.

State Senator Joe Simitian (D-Palo Alto), who introduced the bill that created TK in 2010, said the action by the subcommittee sends a strong message that he hopes will “reduce the level of anxiety among parents and district administrators throughout the state” who have been left with great uncertainty about the future of the program.

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