The Advancement Project Opposes Gov. Brown's Budget Proposal to Eliminate Transitional Kindergarten and Deny Children the Right to Attend Public School
02.22.2012 | The Advancement Project
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE – February 22, 2012
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The Advancement Project Opposes Gov. Brown’s Budget Proposal to Eliminate Transitional Kindergarten and Deny Children the Right to Attend Public School
The Advancement Project joins Preschool California, California Kindergarten Teachers, Parents, Education Advocates, Civic Leaders in “Save Kindergarten” Coalition to Rally in Support of Transitional Kindergarten
Los Angeles, CA – February 22, 2012 – Advancement Project, a public policy change organization rooted in the civil rights movement, is strongly opposed to Gov. Brown’s budget proposal to eliminate transitional kindergarten and thus deny up to 125,000 California children the right to attend public school.
“Transitional kindergarten, and early education programs in general, are one of the greatest things we can do to close the achievement gap in California,” said Advancement Project Director of Educational Equity, Kim Pattillo Brownson. “Research shows that children who have access to age-appropriate early childhood education like transitional kindergarten enjoy greater academic success than children who don’t. The governor’s proposal to cut them is a terrible step in the wrong direction."
Advancement Project joins a vast statewide coalition of organizations supporting the full implementation of transitional kindergarten, including Preschool California, California Kindergarten Association, California Federation of Teachers, Los Angeles Chamber of Commerce, Families in Schools, Los Angeles Parent Institute for Quality Education (PIQE), Los Angeles Urban League, InnerCity Struggle and the Alliance for Better Communities.
“We’re delighted to welcome Advancement Project’s support for transitional kindergarten and the Save Kindergarten Coalition,” said Preschool California President Catherine Atkin, “With more than 100 school districts moving ahead with transitional kindergarten, there is tremendous momentum for giving California’s youngest learners the access to education they are entitled to by law.”
The Save Kindergarten Coalition of school districts, superintendents, educators, parents, business and civic leaders and child advocates 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.
The Coalition has been waging a series of visibility events across California in support of transitional kindergarten, with a Transitional Kindergarten Implementation Summit taking place in Fresno on February 28.
Fully implementing transitional kindergarten is in accordance with The Kindergarten Readiness Act – the California law that mandates changing 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 1 out of 4 kindergarten-aged students.
Advancement Project is a public policy change organization rooted in the civil rights movement. We engineer large-scale systems change to remedy inequality, expand opportunity and open paths to upward mobility. Our goal is that members of all communities have the safety, opportunity and health they need to thrive.
Our signature is reach and impact. With our strong ties to diverse communities, unlikely alliances, policy and legal expertise, and creative use of technology, we and our partners have won over $15 billion to extend opportunity. Whether it is to build 150 schools, transform the City of Los Angeles’ approach to its gang epidemic, or revolutionize the use of data in policymaking, Advancement Project evens the odds for communities striving to attain equal footing and equal treatment.