Transitional Kindergarten Schools & Kids, posted by curious, a resident of the Another Pleasanton neighborhood neighborhood, on May 14, 2012 at 1:17 pm
Looks like Transitional K will not be funded in Jerry Brown's new budget (is this correct?). Does that mean it will be dropped here since we were promised the funds would not come out of our General Fund?
Posted by Sandy Piderit, a resident of the Mohr Park neighborhood, on May 14, 2012 at 1:35 pm
At the state level, it is up to the legislature to determine whether the requirement to begin offering transitional K will be deferred until they can fund the program. (It's also important to keep in mind that the governor's May revise is just a revised budget proposal -- nothing is a done deal until the legislature passes a budget that the governor won't veto.)
There are many instances of unfunded mandates in education. I hope that transitional K will not be another example.
From Pleasanton's perspective, though, the board voted in March to approve transitional K for next fall, and it did not sound like that decision would be reconsidered on budgetary grounds. See this news story about that meeting:
Posted by curious, a resident of the Another Pleasanton neighborhood neighborhood, on May 14, 2012 at 2:53 pm
Seems odd that we would offer something like transitional K when there is so much budget uncertainty. The board have been cutting programs like crazy - why add this new one when we knew the budget would be up in the air?
Posted by Kathleen Ruegsegger, a resident of the Vintage Hills Elementary School neighborhood, on May 14, 2012 at 4:14 pm
As Sandy pointed out, TK is a mandate from Sacramento and not all mandates follow through with actual funding: Web Link An example would be mandated textbooks that can cost well over $100 each, but the State provides $30 (there has been recent flexibility on how to use these funds and requirements to purchase them). The State can decide it doesn't have the funds for TK and still expect districts to follow through with the program or Sacramento can suspend the program (don't know the likelihood given it is tied to the new age requirements for Kindergarten).
Posted by Educated, a resident of the Another Pleasanton neighborhood neighborhood, on May 14, 2012 at 4:53 pm
On the one hand, we cry because Gov Brown is part of the Obama socialist conspiracy by spending money socialistic programs. But, then when it impacts OUR kids / US personally ... well that's a different problem. G Brown doesn't have his act together.
I guess we mean not spending is meant for Oakland kids, not Pleasanton kids. Hummmm! Does anyone else see the problem with this form of thinking.
Posted by Kathleen Ruegsegger, a resident of the Vintage Hills Elementary School neighborhood, on May 14, 2012 at 5:08 pm
There's more math to consider: whether current funds are being spent in the best places or whether a given program is overfunded or whether a given program is even needed/government's role. It's not just education; nobody wants their program to face the ax.
Posted by Steve, a resident of the Parkside neighborhood, on May 14, 2012 at 5:12 pm
Educated, there's plenty of money to go around. The problem is priorities...needle exchange programs, welfare immigaration costs, and other social program black holes are bleeding funds from more worthwhile programs like educating the inheritors of our future.
Posted by raise your kids, a resident of the Downtown neighborhood, on May 15, 2012 at 9:42 am
Why should taxpayers fund extended day care for parents who refuse to raise their own kids? If getting your kid out of the house all day from an early age is your priority then just don't have them in the first place. You have no need to expect me to fund their day care.
Posted by curious, a resident of the Another Pleasanton neighborhood neighborhood, on May 15, 2012 at 11:11 am
I doubt that many people would want to put their four year old child in a 30 student to 1 teacher ratio anyhow . . . I agree this should not be funded over the regular programs by the city or state right now because we don't have the money.
Posted by Kathleen Ruegsegger, a resident of the Vintage Hills Elementary School neighborhood, on May 15, 2012 at 11:23 am
This isn't daycare. The state is rolling back the birth date requirement for entering kindergarten. It will in turn push out children born in the last four months of the year (I provided a link above). There is curriculum provided for these young fives. It should also cut back on red shirting (holding a child out of school for an extra year), which will hopefully end the age disparities in any given classroom.
There is plenty of research if you are interested in the success the programs can provide.
Posted by curious, a resident of the Another Pleasanton neighborhood neighborhood, on May 15, 2012 at 2:02 pm
I've lived in many places with different K entry dates. Parents hold their kids back no matter what the date is to give them an advantage or to let them intellectually or emotionally catch up. If we change the date, parents will just work backwards in the same way.
In terms of costs, we will be educating young kids for almost a full extra year give or take a few months, so it's going to cost something and given all we're giving up, the time isn't now to introduce new programs. There are pleny of exising programs that are very successful - say Barton / reading specialists - that are being cut.
"On the whole, the evidence about the short- and long-term effects of redshirting is inconclusive. The evidence suggests that some benefits of academic redshirting are short lived and may in the long term be disadvantageous (Spitzer et al., 1995; Graue & DiPerna, in press)."
Posted by Mr. Mittens, a resident of another community, on May 15, 2012 at 3:49 pm
I think red-shirting of Kindergarten-aged kids is a serious enough problem that we should probably start a national dialogue on a Constitutional Amendment which would give states the right to define the required age for kindergarten admission. In Utah, we've always fallen back on peer parental pressure. Or like in High School when peers make sure no one is too different. Heh-heh-heh. Sometimes its best to allow the community to speak with a big stick or pair of scissors.
Posted by Resident, a resident of the Another Pleasanton neighborhood neighborhood, on May 16, 2012 at 7:15 am
". It should also cut back on red shirting (holding a child out of school for an extra year), which will hopefully end the age disparities in any given classroom. "
How? A young child in the TK class would not enter first grade any sooner. A friend of mine is planning to hold her october born child back one year, and will not be using the TK program. But even if she did use the TK program, that child would still not move to first grade from there but to the regular K.
Posted by Kathleen Ruegsegger, a resident of the Vintage Hills Elementary School neighborhood, on May 16, 2012 at 8:42 am
With the curriculum expectations effectively being pushed into the lower grades, red shirting has increased. My concern is the practice of holding back children born over the summer months, who by any cutoff birth date should be in school. If the youngest (born Sept-Dec) are in TK, they won't, theoretically, be in class competing with students born Jan-Aug. Otherwise, we should be moving the registration birth date back to July 1 (not going to happen).
Posted by Stacey, a resident of the Amberwood/Wood Meadows neighborhood, on May 16, 2012 at 3:35 pm Stacey is a member (registered user) of PleasantonWeekly.com
Has red-shirting really increased due to the curriculum? Maybe the problem is the pushing down of the curriculum. I think the pushing down of the curriculum and the increase in academic preschool is a result of competitive parenting more than anything.
Posted by Pleasanton Conservative, a resident of the Avignon neighborhood, on May 17, 2012 at 7:52 am
Way more than a concern. This is HUGE!!!! My neighbor's cousen's kid was denied a place at Standford because two of the kids in his kindergarden class had been red shirted. Now I'm beginning to wonder whether thats' why I didnt get into a UC. I think some investigations should be lunched about special priveliges for minority and other entitlement groups.