In his January budget draft, Governor Brown proposed consolidating three pre-kindergarten programs into one $1.6 billion block grant to the counties. Local education agencies would receive, and determine how to disperse, these block grant funds.
California’s state-funded preschool programs include varied funding streams, eligibility requirements, and curriculums. These programs consist of the California State Preschool Program ($880 million), a small block grant for quality rating and improvement systems ($50 million), and Transitional Kindergarten ($725 million).
Streamlining the current system is a reasonable objective; however, we believe that improving California’s early care and learning system is too important and too large an investment to be carried out in the budget planning process.
It’s kindergarten registration season in school districts throughout California. Some parents may be wondering if their child is ready for kindergarten, while others may be wondering if their child is even eligible.
New kindergarten entry requirements coupled with possible state budget cuts makes this a very confusing time for parents of soon-to-be kindergartners.
For years, California kindergarteners had to turn 5 before December 2 in order to register for kindergarten. The Kindergarten Readiness Act (SB 1381), passed in September 2010, changed the entry date to September 1 so all children would enter kindergarten at age 5. The new age requirement is being phased in over three years starting in 2012-13. Continue reading