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Another California bill hopes to make transitional kindergarten available for all 4-year-olds

Ms. Magalong's kindergarten class does an activity called
Ms. Magalong's kindergarten class does an activity called "The Mirror," where one leader moves their arms slowly and the other students mirror their movements.
Carla Javier/KPCC

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A legislation that would allow all 4-year-olds to attend transitional kindergarten passed the Senate Education Committee on Wednesday.

Transitional kindergarten, known as TK, is a publicly funded education program that is offered to children who turn five between Sept. 2 and Dec. 2 each year. California Senator Bill Dodd (D-Napa), who authored the bill, wants to change that and expand TK to all 4-year-old kids.

The California State PTA, a volunteer-led child advocacy association, is supporting the bill, but other groups like KinderCare, a for-profit daycare and early education provider, and the Professional Association for Childhood Education (PACE), a nonprofit association of private childcare providers, oppose Sen. Dodd’s bill. PACE argues that high student-teacher ratios in public education would make it difficult to properly teach four-year-olds. Meanwhile, Sen. Dobb says the bill would provide more opportunities for early education during critical years for childhood development.

We weigh the pros and cons: should publicly funded transitional kindergarten be expanded to all 4-year-olds in California? Call us at 866-893-5722.


Sen. Bill Dodd (D-Napa), author of Senate Bill 837 that would allow all 4-year-olds to attend publicly funded transitional kindergarten; he tweets @BillDoddCA

Celia Sims, vice president of Government Relations at KinderCare Education, a Portland-based privately held education services firm