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SRVUSD continues transitional kindergarten program

State budget could cut funding for the program for early learners

The San Ramon Valley Unified School District is moving ahead with plans to continue its transitional kindergarten (TK) program, despite budget cuts that could eliminate funding.

The district ran a pilot program this year. The idea is to send older, more mature children to regular kindergarten and send younger ones to the transitional program, which includes what's described as "structured play" as well as elements from traditional kindergarten.

Current California law allows students who turn five years old between Sept. 2 and Dec. 2 this year to participate in the program. It begins in September with other schools.

"We believe that, despite the confusion that exists around the program in the Legislature, it is in the best interest of our students and our district to continue to offer the program next year," said Christine Williams, assistant superintendent of educational services. "The current law is still in place and mandates this program, and we don't feel it is fair to our students or parents to wait to make a decision."

Districts are being told that since both the State Assembly and Senate budget committees have rejected the Governor's proposal for eliminating TK, and since the proposal is strongly opposed in both houses, the current TK law will most likely remain in place for the 2012-13 school year.

The governor could bring a revised proposal to the table in his May budget revision. However, the SRVUSD Board of Education believes that the benefits of this program outweigh the small potential cost impact.

Currently, there are 222 students registered for the 2012-13 program, which is set to be offered at John Baldwin, Neil Armstrong, Golden View and Coyote Creek elementary schools. The school day is the same as traditional kindergarten with morning and afternoon classes.

Families whose children will turn 5 on or between Sept. 2 and Dec. 2, 2012 and have not yet enrolled in the school district may enroll in the TK program by contacting the district's Educational Services Department.

Comments

 +   Like this comment
Posted by LMP
a resident of Danville
on Apr 30, 2012 at 6:52 am

Here we go again. When the funding doesn't materialize we'll hear about cuts to programs and teacher layoffs, and the need for ANOTHER school bond. It's a great idea if funds are unlimited or if some other programs get cut in order to make the budget. It's time for fiscal responsibility.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Huh?
a resident of Danville
on Apr 30, 2012 at 8:51 am

Because after all, LMP - we don't really have any obligation to try to provide a good education for the children in our community, do we? </sarcasm>

You obviously feel that it's far more important to keep your taxes at the lowest level seen in this country for the past 60 years than to try to actually fund our public schools, and will wail at anything which might actually cost money. "Fiscal responsibility" has just become a politically correct way to say: "I've got mine, Jack. Screw you and your kids."

P.S. All my kids are grown. But I still feel a responsibility for the families raising youngsters - even if it costs me a few bucks.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by John
a resident of San Ramon
on Apr 30, 2012 at 9:55 am

Without good funding won't this be a disaster? One teacher to 26 pre-k students? Who wants their child to be a test case for something that isn't even in the state budget yet. If they can't do this right (not the right time in our deficit budget) and fully fund TK so age appropriate materials can be purchased for a true play oriented TK it will become a kindergarten for preschoolers with 26 children too young to do all that is expected of current kindergartners.
Until the state has money shouldn't this class be left to local preschools?


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Lois
a resident of San Ramon
on Apr 30, 2012 at 9:57 am

Lets use the limited funding to support the classes already in place. Keep the music and electives and art in school instead of stretching funding even further by starting up new classes.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Douglas
a resident of Blackhawk
on Apr 30, 2012 at 1:26 pm

Completely agree with Lois!

@ Huh? - Since your kids are grown, they obviously had the money for music, arts and the like. I have no problem with you wanting to help the youngsters, but let's give them the same opportunities your kids had rather than start something new. If kids are ready for real Kindergarten then send them, otherwise, keep them in preschool that PARENTS should be responsible for paying for!!!!


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