Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Important Update regarding Transitional Kindergarten (TK) in SFUSD

Effective immediately, SFUSD will not be offering Transitional Kindergarten (TK) for the 2012-2013 school year. Only students turning 5 years old on or before Nov. 1 will be eligible for Kindergarten entry for the 2012-2013 school year.

In the Governor’s proposed budget for the 2012-2013 school year, school districts would not receive any funding for Transitional Kindergarten, and the state would not mandate districts to offer it. Given that SFUSD cannot afford to offer Transitional Kindergarten if it is not funded by the state, SFUSD will not plan to offer Transitional Kindergarten for the upcoming school year.
While the California Department of Education continues to provide updates and the situation may change over the course of the next several months, SFUSD is moving forward on the assumption that there will be insufficient funding to offer Transitional Kindergarten in the 2012-2013 budget.

SFUSD is providing this notification so that families who were interested in TK can take action to make alternative arrangements for their children for the 2012-2013 school year.


  1. Wow. 2 days before the deadline, too...

  2. This morning they accepted the application form for my son, who was born after the deadline. Not sure what the deal is - I suppose I might be getting a letter soon asking me to come back next year.

  3. This is horrible. One of my daughter's friends is more than ready for K, both academically and developmentally, and will be forced to waste another year at preschool now -- though their respective birthdays are only a couple of weeks apart. Anybody here know a good academically oriented pre-K program in SF. She's stuck in the middle, too much income for assistance, too little to able to afford private pre-K.

  4. This is appalling. Two days before applications are due the SFUSD axes the TK program due to budget issues? Really? Are they talking about the cost of supporting a few hundred children for a month or less without State daily attendance funding? What, a few thousand bucks? Give me a break. Clearly the timing was such that those of us who are affected will have little time to mount action before the lottery that we were told we would be participating in begins and we lose our slots.

    After spending countless hours and taking several mornings off work touring schools they NOW tell us it was all for nothing? The SFUSD and SF BOE all should be ashamed of themselves. My four year old was born in early December, is in Pre-K now and will be more than ready for Kindergarten. They are disenfranchising her, holding her back in Pre-K for another, redundant, year that she doesn't need and that will cost us thousands of dollars that was not budgeted until this morning.

    SF is apparently the first District to eliminate TK, so clearly it isn't all about the money. They were waiting for the Governor to threaten cuts so they have a political pass to do this, and that is disgusting. Why don't they cut things like transitional language programing for NON-TAXPAYERS first? The priorities in SF are sometimes so poorly structured it is an embarrassment. I understand there is talk of eliminating honors classes, which are CRITICAL for an AP track. This is a NECESSITY if a child excels and is a candidate for a top-tier school. Who cares about smart kids?

    The District may face litigation if they keep this up. They cannot continue to disenfranchise tax-paying citizens with children while earmarking services for non-taxpaying families, such as "transitional language" programs, which are widely used by illegal immigrants. I am not against all the programs per se, it is only a question of how much money there is to work with. Clearly, money is drying up, so put it ALL on the table, and stop making decisions months too late that have massive adverse impact on working families trying to find a good school for their children. Especially when the money saved by eliminating TK is a PITTANCE compared to several other programs the District offers.

    The band-aid solution IF there is still a mandate (two programs offered in the Bayview and Vis Valley) was NEVER MENTIONED until now, and it will cost MORE MONEY than the original plan that was disseminated to all of us for months, not to mention virtually no middle class families will participate, due to the locations.

    The SFUSD and BOE are in serious need of a refresh. I think we should consider a recall election. If there is not enough momentum for that, it may be time for us to move like many other smart families fed up with this garbage. We will take the dollars we were planning on pumping into the PTA and go elsewhere.

    Shame on SFUSD and the SF BOE!

    Let's start a Facebook Page and get organized. The District cannot continue to act autonomously at the taxpayers' expense... they work for US. Let's get mobilized!

  5. How can the district get away with this? They announced that transitional kindergarten would be there for our kids and now we are left to solve this problem on our own.

    I agree that we need to organize as a group and demand accountability as soon as possible!

    Please contact me if you are interested in trying to do something about this.

  6. Hi commenters, I'm a reporter at the San Francisco Examiner. It's Sunday afternoon, and I'm working on a follow-up story about how the district's decision is affecting parents. I'd love to be able to include your family's perspective, but my article is running tomorrow, so if you can please give me a call today at 415-359-2741. My email is

  7. here is the fact page from the current law.

  8. Be competitive and equip yourself with the knowledge you need SpeedyCourse will give you choices of courses.

  9. Does anyone know if the charter schools are following the same cut-off age as SFUSD? Edison, Mission Prep, and Creative Arts Charter might be worthwhile phone calls. Also maybe some of the parochial schools would take K ready students...I think there are tour notes and reviews for some of these schools from this year's bloggers. Finn Barr, Megan Furth, St. Phillip's, St. Paul's...

  10. I came across the same article. I think we are going to opt for a private school at this point since we will still have the choice to send our child to Kindergarten even though he misses the public school cutoff.

    Any suggestions on schools, I came across one good site with parent review,

    Any help would be amazing

  11. If you do this, you are contributing to class segregation of kids not as fortunate as yours. It violates the spirit of Brown v. Topeka, that separate but equal (by class) makes one feel unequal, and isn't really unequal of the poorer are isolated in a system that the rich flee and thus don't try to help. You're helping your kids by hurting others. It's imperfect, but I read in the Times 2/3 of European and Canadian born parents with families earning over 200k, vs. just one third of US Born, saying it is fairer, they want their kids to deal with kids of all class levels and races, more egalitarian and their kids will get more street smarts. I saw they opened 4 French-English public schools in Manhattan. They should do that here, for it would cause more economic diversity and end up causing more of those in power to care more and use their power to truly change things. Trust me, Alioto's kids wouldn't accept a lousy teacher not getting fired because they have tenure and a guarantee to never be fired unless they commit a crime, if people like that were in SFUSD, the bad things simply wouldn't happen, Dennis Kelly or no Dennis Kelly.

    Our national motto is all people are created equal, but we don't live up to it. Paul Krugman shows we have less social mobility than Europe, Japan, Canada, Australia, New Zealand. This only adds to it. It separates the 1% from the 99%, or maybe the 7% from the 93%, and it doesn't make us more fair, more equal, more caring. We are doing something that helps our kid on the backs of hurting kids who start out with fewer advantages. I will not criticize any individual, but I feel this practice harms the children who are most disadvantaged and enhances American, and San Franciscan, inequality.

  12. Sorry, the comment in the NY Times was 2/3 of European, Asian and Canadian-born parents of kids in over 150-200k families send their kids to public school vs. 1/3 of American born parents of that income level, in Manhattan. There has been an influx of parents from other areas and it has made the public schools there improve.

  13. 1. I disagree with Floyd in this respect: Your choice of public or private school is your own business. My business, as a resident of San Francisco, is to have good choices at SFUSD.

    I agree with Floyd in this respect: It will take more than just the schools to fix the achievement gap.

    2. Saying I am not a troll is like saying I do not beat my wife. I would deny, and then focus the issue on whether the person who accuses another of being a troll is making a responsible accusation or not.

    Is the accusation with merit? And, if not, it is not responsible to make groundless accusations. Do we have an internet name for people who habitually accuse others of being a troll without justification? Any ideas, Floyd, that is printable?

  14. It is one's own business, but in this are of focusing on inequality, I think education has been shown to be the biggest cause because most of our living comes from our income at work. The idea that it is fair for the rich to perpetuate that inequality by separating their children from kids of other classes is very Conservative in my view, and no one who does so can claim to be progressive or liberal. It is very damaging to the poor kids who get isolated, and is a common practice in some neighborhoods like Bernal Heights, Noe Valley, etc. Separate but equal makes one feel unequal, and let's face it, no one would be spending all that money unless they felt it caused their kids to get an unequal education, so it is supporting the 1% vs. the 99% to favor private schools educating one class and public schools educating another. It doesn't advance equal opportunity, social integration or fairness for minorities who have been disadvantaged in the past; in fact it makes these situations worse and more unequal, and to me that is a serious concern.

    If we were in school together, I believe those in power would fight harder to improve the education of the poor. I believe the private opt out causes those in power to let things continue as they are. Some people like Bill Gates are exceptions, they work hard to fix things, but it does cause inequality of opportunity, class and race segregation, and a wider difference in income between rich and poor. In Europe, a much smaller percentage go private, there is more integration and there is less inequality, it's just a fact. It isn't a step in the right direction if you are a liberal.

    I explain my views in details and am called a troll all the time. Basically it's a convenient way to censor people, pressure them to stay silent in the face of injustice or unfairness. Be quiet or I'll call you a troll. It's silly. A troll means you aren't making a real point, but I am. I back it up with facts.

  15. I'm getting a little off topic, here, so I will keep this short. Groundless accusations of someone being a troll are made by "McCarthyites" or "schmears." (Schmear sounds like smear, which is what these schmears or McCarthyites are doing with these false accusations.)

    Now, Floyd, I do believe Sho busted you one time. It is up to the moderator to decide if you are reformed and rehabilitated, if you have learned from your mistake. Please prove to us that once a troll is not always a troll.

  16. Very true, I will only state things that have backing and are factual. My point was that extreme statements on the other side were not questioned, but my statements were. It was the content, not style, that was the straw that broke the camel's back. For instance, it is justifiable to express outrage that elected officials would knowingly lie. I think they basically admitted it by not taking bets to disprove it. If Clinton got into so much trouble fro a harmless lie, the board should be in trouble for intentionally lying when it harms children.

  17. The trolls are back to finish the job they did of destroying this blog. Go away.

  18. It is for KATE to decide if someome goes or stays. If you believe you have valid reasons for your opinion, please lay out those reasons. Bald accusations of another being a troll are little more than McCarthyisms/Smears.

    If you decline to back up your opinion with an explanation, that would be an act of a Schmear/McCarthyite.

  19. I agree. I gave an explanation. They signed a statement saying that if Prop H passed, kids would be forced to switch in the middle of the school year. The entire board signed it. So did a couple past members, Eric Mar and Jane Kim. They also said the opponents never went to the meetings or spoke out and the overwhelming majority supported their policy. IN reality, this vote of 49.96% showed more than half want neighborhood schools, because some voted against it believing that it would force kids to switch mid-year. They knew it would only apply to new admissions and no one would even be forced to switch between years. They took advantage of the fact that many in the City don't know much about education issues and don't have kids and they knowingly, pre-meditatedly, lied. I challenged them to a $1,000 bet that they believed the statement they signed. They wouldn't have to say it was true. They just would have to state that they believed children would be forced to switch mid-year or even between years, and they declined to take this bet, which means they knowingly and pre-meditatedly lied and thus committed election fraud.

    Calling me a troll is ludicrous. You say nothing about the facts and I back my facts up.

    Thank you Charlie for speaking the truth. I'm not trying to ruin anything, but if you challenge me I can prove it in detail. If the board believed this wasn't true, they would have taken the opportunity to earn an easy $1,000. I feel it is dishonest and not honorable for a public official to knowingly sign their name to a lie. I think we should all vote against all the incumbents this year who have made no headway vs. the achievement gap and not improved the educational achievement of minorities and protected bad teachers by agreeing to contracts which cause only 1-2 teachers in the entire SFUSD to be terminated each year. In addition, lying and knowing you're doing so when you are representing innocent children is reprehensible.

    Thank you Charlie for speaking the truth. I have never been a troll. I am not saying these things because I want to upset people. I'm saying them because I feel our children are being hurt by the lackluster job our elected officials are doing by lying and putting adult interest groups ahead of children, including many vulnerable children. If on the one side a bad teacher will poorly teach small children in, let's say, a poor-performing school, for several years, the board and union will argue that it should be impossible to terminate said teacher, thus choosing the adult doing a poor job over the child who desperately needs a good education and may not have good support at home, probably doesn't.

    I'm a true progressive. True progress requires prioritizing the needs of children who really need a good education over adults.

    As I say this, most teachers are very good in SFUSD. It's just the rigid, mindless protection of seniority and tenure I disagree with, and which has hurt children.

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  21. TK now offered at 2 sites: