March 19 Policy Article from Jesika, Menetta & Natalie: Transitional Kindergarten

Click image below to read the article for Monday, March 19.

1.) Identification of the policy makers: Senator Simitian and Senator Stienberg, Principal Co-Authors: Senators Pavely and Runner, Assembly Members Brownley and Mendoza
2.) Indication of the jurisdiction of the policy makers and the policy’s target populations:
a. Jurisdiction- State of California
b. Policy Target Population- Children who do not meet new Kindergarten cut-off age/date and their families, and Early Childhood Educators
3.) Major provisions and points of the policy:
a. 2 year transitional kindergarten option will be provided for children who don’t meet the new age cut-off
b. After one year of transitional kindergarten children will enter into a regular kindergarten program
c. School decides whether or not to offer program, if Jerry Browns legislation proposal passes
i. Program is funded whether or not schools decide to offer it, but if they do decide to offer it, the program has to provide a developmentally appropriate modified kindergarten curriculum.
d. Intended for kindergarten and transitional kindergarten to be in separate classrooms, but the school can choose to have them in the same classroom.
4.) Indentification of the socio-cultural, historical, and political context in which the policy is formed.
– Historically, children have been able to enter kindergarten if he/she will have his/her birthday by December 2nd of that school year. The changing law will make it so less children can enter kindergarten before they turn 5 years old. Transitional Kindergarten will provide these children with the opportunity to be in a classroom that is developmentally appropriate with modified kindergarten curriculum. Without this policy, parents would have to find other means of school or childcare for their children who do not meet the cut-off date. One of the socio-cultural effects of this policy and article is that many parents are hesitant to enter/sign up their children in the transitional kindergarten program because they are unsure whether this program is going to actually be implemented in the classrooms (in regards to Jerry Brown’s proposal).
5.) There are assumptions that the children who are not eligible for kindergarten because of these cut-off dates are still ready for a kindergarten-like setting and curriculum, and that their parents are going to want them in this kindergarten-like environment. Many parents are hesitant of state-funded programs. In addition to that, they are hesitant to enter their children in a program which may not be implemented in their area, and would rather have an assured place for their children to go, for example preschool or daycare.

Discussion Questions:
1.) How do you feel about Transitional Kindergarten in general? Do you think it is a good idea?
2.) Do you think Transitional Kindergarten should be a mandatory program like it was initially planned, or do you agree more with Jerry Brown’s proposal of making it the schools decision to implement this program?
3.) How would you feel, as a parent, about Jerry Brown’s proposal if you were unsure if the program you were enrolling your children in was actually going to be implemented?
4.) If Jerry Brown’s proposal passes and schools are still allowed to receive funding without being required to implement Transitional Kindergarten, how do you feel about schools being able to spend the money on other things? How do you think this will effect the schools decision to implement the program?
5.) How do you feel about having Transitional Kindergarten and Kindergarten in the same classroom as opposed to separate?
6.) Do you think that Transitional Kindergarten will take away from Pre-School programs?
7.) As an Early Childhood Educator, how do you feel about having to have a teaching credential to teach the Transitional Kindergarten class?
8.) How do you think these age cut-off’s will effect the children socially and academically over the years?

Article Link.

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About childandfamilypolicy

This blog is an effort of passion and commitment, created for the students of CD 479: Policy Analysis and Advocacy, a senior capstone course of the Child Development Department at Humboldt State University.
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