By Karen D'Souza, EdSource, January 8, 2021
Gov. Gavin Newsom is making strides toward realizing his vision of preschool for all the state’s 4-year-olds in the proposed budget he released Friday for the coming fiscal year.
Newsom hopes to increase access to transitional kindergarten, or TK, programs by giving $250 million to school districts as an incentive to expand these programs, as well as $50 million for teacher preparation and $200 million to build out the necessary facilities for TK and other early education programs.
Funded by the state, transitional kindergarten is an extra year of kindergarten that principally serves children who turn 5 between Sept. 2 and Dec. 2. In some districts, children who turn 5 even later in the school year have been able to attend what is called “expanded transitional kindergarten.” But school districts have to cover the costs themselves until a child turns 5. The funding Newsom is proposing is intended to cover the up-front costs of expanding these programs.