Transitional Kindergarten Staffing Ratios Are Often Unmet, Teachers Say. So Why Do Some Districts Escape Fines?

  • by:
  • Source: KQED
  • 05/24/2024
Four-year-olds, many of whom have never attended school or day care, are entering California classrooms in droves following the state’s rapid expansion of transitional kindergarten, a grade preceding kindergarten.

In this grade, known as TK, young students are exposed to academics and become familiar with letters, sounds and numbers. They also acquire social, emotional and intellectual skills through play and exploration. For example, by sharing toys with their peers in a structured environment, they learn to communicate with each other and handle conflict.

Once designed to serve only children who missed the kindergarten age cutoff, TK has evolved and is now projected to reach all the state’s 4-year-olds by the 2025–26 school year. TK is the first year of a two-year kindergarten program that uses a curriculum modified for the age and developmental level of the participating children. When fully implemented, California will have the largest universal preschool program in the nation, serving nearly 400,000 children.

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