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"Play-In" at Model Classroom at State Capitol to Kick Off Campaign Supporting Transitional Kindergarten

March 1, 2012

With school districts and parents preparing to register students for kindergarten in March, legislators, superintendents, parents, education and civic leaders and child advocacy organizations are stepping up efforts to persuade legislators and California Governor Jerry Brown to support the full implementation of transitional kindergarten this fall. 

Launching a “March Mobilization to Save Kindergarten”, the Save Kindergarten coalition is rallying groups across the state to sound a warning bell about the unprecedented number of students who could be denied access to public education this fall if the governor’s budget proposal to eliminate their right to transitional kindergarten is adopted.

"March is a pivotal planning time for parents and schools," said Catherine Atkin, president of Preschool California. "The March Mobilization to Save Kindergarten is about leveraging this critical time to reinforce why access to transitional kindergarten ought to remain open to all, with no child denied their right to public education.”

Headlined by a planned "Play-In" at the state Capitol in Sacramento, where local transitional kindergarten students will greet California State Assembly and Senate members with a model transitional kindergarten classroom, the "March Mobilization to Save Kindergarten" will also release data detailing the number of students per legislative district who could be barred from public school this fall.

Other Save Kindergarten Coalition events during March include:

  1. Tuesday, March 13 – Parents, educators and advocates will rally support for transitional kindergarten at the Assembly Budget Subcommittee hearing on Education focused on transitional kindergarten at 9:00 am in State Capitol Room 444 followed by a 1:00 pm "Play-In" for transitional kindergarten at a model classroom at the State Capitol.
  2. Fight Crime: Invest in Kids California’s report release detailing the cost-savings that investments in early childhood education provide, featuring law enforcement leaders, announced from a Bay Area transitional kindergarten classroom.
  3. Assemblymember Susan Bonilla’s Select Committee hearing with school district leaders across Contra Costa County on the importance of following the Kindergarten Readiness Act and moving forward with full implementation of transitional kindergarten.

The March Mobilization to Save Kindergarten is organizing outreach events and activities pegged to key legislative committee meetings scheduled for March 1 and March 13, where the issue of transitional kindergarten will be discussed. Preschool California is posting events as they are scheduled at: www.preschoolcalifornia.org/savekindergarten.

The Save Kindergarten Coalition of school districts, superintendents, educators, parents, business and civic leaders and child advocates spearheading the March Mobilization rejects the governor’s proposal and is urging the California state legislature and governor to follow the Kindergarten Readiness Act that established transitional kindergarten and remains the current law. Learn more about the Save Kindergarten Campaign at: www.preschoolcalifornia.org/savekindergarten.

Fully implementing transitional kindergarten is in accordance with The Kindergarten Readiness Act – the California law that changed the kindergarten entry date so that children enter school at age 5 and establishing transitional kindergarten, a developmentally-appropriate grade to serve those younger students with birthdays between September and December. The governor’s budget proposal is at odds with The Kindergarten Readiness Act, which remains the law and could impact one out of every four kindergarten-aged students.

Source:  Save Kindergarten Coalition