Update on Transitional Kindergarten
July 2, 2012 It is the position of the California Charter Schools Association that the applicable law, SB 1381, regarding Transitional Kindergarten does not require charter schools to offer Transitional Kindergarten. CCSA has arrived at this position after considerable analysis by our legal team and policy analysts.
Transitional Kindergarten is not a requirement on all public schools; it is a requirement on school districts. The law only requires offering transitional kindergarten as a condition of receiving apportionment for it. If a charter school wants to receive apportionment for Transitional Kindergarten, then it must meet the requirements under Education Code section 48000(c) and (d). However, because it is not required, it is up to individual schools to determine whether to offer it.
SB 1381 moves up the minimum entrance age for kindergarten by one month, each year, for three years, starting in the 2012-2013 school year. Students must turn five on or before November 1 for the 2012-13 school year, October 1 for the 2013-14 school year and September 1 for the 2014-15 school year and each school year thereafter.
The law authorizes a new "Transitional Kindergarten" for children who fall in the 1-3 month "gap" period. Transitional Kindergarten is "the first year of a two-year kindergarten program that uses a modified kindergarten curriculum that is age and developmentally appropriate."
Transitional Kindergarten requirements and funding are currently provide for under the law; The Budget Act of 2012 (AB 1464, signed by Governor Brown on June 27, 2012) includes funding for Transitional Kindergarten.
Implementing Transitional Kindergarten
You are not required to implement a Transitional Kindergarten program. Should your school choose to do so, you should know that there are no content standards for Transitional Kindergarten. There is nothing in the law that requires setting up separate classrooms; furthermore, there is nothing that prohibits multi-age classrooms settings or requires the purchase of new curriculum. According to the California Department of Education, the program must modify the local course of study in order to provide age and developmentally appropriate curriculum for transitional kindergarten.
Please refer to the California Department of Education FAQ's on Transitional Kindergarten for additional information.