California has big plans to enroll all four-year-olds in public schools over the next four years. But are tens of thousands of teachers, assistants, and staff going to be able to meet the state’s Transitional Kindergarten (TK) needs? According to a recently published Cal Matters article :
“School districts across the state are scrambling to hire an estimated 11,000 teachers and 25,000 teacher assistants to expand transitional kindergarten. It’s a tall order for school district officials already in the midst of a daunting educator shortage and coming out of the pandemic.”
There’s a big push for expanded public TK programs as a way to close the achievement gap. Gov. Newsom’s budget projects 2.7 billion in the general fund for public TK programs by 2025-2026. Of course, parents will still have the option to pay out of pocket or attend a state-subsidized preschool. As per the article:
“State-run schools serve around 32% of eligible 4-year-olds. Ultimately, California school districts will need to hire an additional 11,000 new credentialed teachers for transitional kindergarten classrooms and 25,000 to 26,000 teaching assistants, according to Berkeley Children’s Forum.
Minimally, this year the state will need at least 2,400 teachers to be able to serve the 58,000 new children expected to enroll in transitional kindergarten in the fall. The following year another 3,600 credentialed teachers will be needed, said Bruce Fuller, professor of education and public policy at UC Berkeley who heads the Children’s Forum.”
Are you concerned a teacher shortage could affect your child’s TK enrollment? What options are you interested in for getting your child ready for Kindergarten? Let us know in the comments!
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