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California Democrats Announce Plans For Transitional Kindergarten

Credit: Capital Public Radio

Students in a transitional kindergarten class at H.W. Harkness Elementary School in Sacramento.

Studies show the sooner kids start learning, the better prepared they are for life. The California Senate Democrats announced Tuesday that legislation that would ensure all 4-year-olds in the state have a chance to enroll in "transitional kindergarten."

The program would begin in the 2015-2016 school year and gradually expand. It would be implemented fully within five years at a total cost of just less than $1 billion.

Senate President pro temp Darrell Steinberg said the program is a good investment.

“I’m proud to call this wise-spending California. There are few better uses of the taxpayer dollars than investing in evidence based changed providing you people, 4-year-olds, the head start that they need," Steinberg said.

Assembly Democrats have also listed universal transitional kindergarten as a budget goal for the coming year.

However, the party will have to convince Gov. Jerry Brown, who’s pushing a message of moderate spending. He will announce his budget on Friday.

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