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California Resets Kindergarten Entry Date

Among the last bills to pass before the California legislative session ended this week was one moving the state's kindergarten birthday deadline to Sept. 1. Prior to this change, 4-year-olds with birthdays before December 2 were admitted.

The bill calls for "transitional" kindergarten for the 4-year-olds who miss the new cutoff, to be paid for with the funds that would have been sent to send them to kindergarten under the old system.

The Sacramento Bee's Capitol Alert blog says the state PTA backed the changed date with this provision, and the California Teachers Association, which had long blocked the change, dropped its opposition.The California Chronicle reports that a number of districts are already rolling out transitional kindergarten.

Palo Alto, Orange County, and Torrance have programs up and running, while Los Angeles starts a pilot this fall. Other pilots are starting this year in districts in Fresno, Sacramento, and Santa Cruz counties.

Readers: What does transitional kindergarten look like? How is it different from regular kindergarten or pre-K? Will this give the kids who fall in the gap a special edge in years to come? I'm quite curious about this.

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