Transitional Kindergarten -- Success for All

I’m very proud to jointly author Assembly Bill 22 (AB 22) with Assemblymember Kevin McCarty (D – Sacramento). AB 22 will phase in Transitional Kindergarten for all California four-year-olds by the 2032-33 school year.

Transitional Kindergarten (TK) programs have a major positive impact on all participating students, including language skills for English learners and math skills for low-income students. Too many children enter kindergarten unprepared, but research shows that access to early learning opportunities will enhance social and emotional development for preschoolers, improve kindergarten readiness and help ensure long-term academic success. While TK students out-perform their non-TK peers by as much as six months in some subjects, today only 25% of our four-year-olds – those with fall birthdays -- can enroll in TK. That will change when AB 22 is fully implemented.

Under AB 22, Transitional Kindergarten will be available for all four-year-old students at no cost to their families. Essentially, a new grade level will be added to our K-12 system. Historic rates of declining enrollment have led to an overall increase in Prop. 98 education funding, providing a unique opportunity to expand early childhood education. We will now be able to provide full-day TK for all four-year-olds while initiating quality improvements including lower adult-to-student ratios (24 students or less per class). TK is a powerful tool that can help narrow achievement gaps and point all our students toward a successful future.

AB 22 is supported by the Office of The Riverside County Superintendent of Schools, the San Diego Unified School District, the American Academy of Pediatrics, California, the Los Angeles Unified School District, and many more.

AB 22 passed the Assembly without opposition on June 2nd, and will now be forwarded to the Senate. Final passage will be a major step toward a brighter educational future for thousands of our children.