News Briefs | FYI
May 16, 2022
PPIC report: More support needed for TK rollout
Some districts need more support and incentives to provide transitional kindergarten programs, according to a recent report from the Public Policy Institute of California.
As the state works toward expanding TK to all 4-year-olds by the 2025-26 school year, PPIC looked at access to existing TK programs, which currently serve around 80 percent of eligible students, according to the report.
Around 17 percent of districts that serve kindergarteners do not offer TK at all. These are usually rural districts or basic-aid districts, which do not receive funding under the Local Control Funding Formula because they receive adequate funding through local property taxes.
“While all districts serving kindergartners are required to provide TK, the mechanism for ensuring they do so is the funding formula. Since basic-aid districts do not receive funding through the LCFF, the California Department of Education has little leverage to ensure they offer TK (D’Souza 2021),” the report states. “However, like all districts, basic-aid districts are required to offer TK.”
The authors recommend that introducing accountability measures, such as including TK on the California School Dashboard, may encourage more districts to offer TK.
The report also examines TK participation across various student groups.
“Encouragingly, TK currently serves relatively high proportions of Dual Language Learners and Latino students,” according to the report. “However, Native American and Pacific Islander children appear to be consistently underenrolled, both due to a lack of TK in their districts and schools, and lower enrollment when it is offered. Black children are also somewhat underrepresented, particularly when they attend schools that offer the program.”
The authors recommend that educators monitor enrollment and provide targeted outreach to underrepresented families.
“Educators and policymakers should strive to better understand the factors driving families’ choices to improve marketing and shape the program so that it can better meet families’ needs,” according to the report.
Read the report at
CA education survey reveals parent attitudes on COVID
More than four in 10 parents say their children have fallen behind academically during the pandemic, according to a statewide survey by the Public Policy Institute of California.
PPIC’s annual Californians and Education report comes as conditions in California schools get closer to normal. Findings were based on a survey of 1,591 California adults conducted March 30-April 13 that asked questions about a wide range of K-12 education topics, from masking and COVID vaccines to the teacher shortage and preschool programs.
A plurality of public school parents (45 percent) identify catching up academically as the biggest challenge for public school students in the next year, while 40 percent of public school parents think dealing with the social-emotional impacts of the pandemic will be the biggest challenge.
“Many parents report their child has fallen behind academically during the pandemic while also noting its social and emotional challenges,” said Mark Baldassare, PPIC president and CEO.
Majorities support ending the state mask mandate for schools but support requiring vaccines. Since March 11, the state has strongly recommended — but not mandated — masking in schools. Solid majorities of adults (61 percent) and public school parents (74 percent) support the move away from a mandate, including majorities across partisan groups. Strong majorities believe that federally approved COVID vaccines should be required for teachers (71 percent adults, 68 percent public school parents) and students (68 percent adults, 66 percent public school parents).
Solid majorities say teacher salaries are too low. About six in 10 public school parents say teacher salaries in their communities are too low. The share saying this has remained similar since 2019.
Asked about a shortage of teachers, around half of public school parents (49 percent) say it is a big problem; the share saying it is a big problem has trended upward since 2020. Solid majorities of adults (66 percent) and public school parents (64 percent) say local schools in lower-income areas should pay higher salaries to attract and retain teachers.
Californians view preschool as important and back state funding for preschool programs. Overwhelming majorities of adults (77 percent) and public school parents (81 percent) see preschool as at least somewhat important to a student’s success in kindergarten through grade 12. This includes solid majorities across parties and overwhelming majorities across racial/ethnic groups.
Read the full report at
Members invited to online town hall with Simon
ACSA Member Services will host a virtual town hall with incoming ACSA President Erin M. Simon from 4-5 p.m. Thursday, May 26. Learn more about Simon and what members can expect from her year as president in this casual and fun hour of networking and prizes. Register at
CI&A discussion focuses on new math framework
Join ACSA Curriculum, Instruction and Accountability Council and the Region 15 Comprehensive Center housed at WestEd for a joint community of practice discussion, “Examining the New Math Framework as Currently Drafted” from 12:30-2 p.m. Monday, May 23. District and site leaders in charge of implementation frameworks are invited to this session. Participants should have knowledge of the current framework, an understanding of the current context for math, and the ability to imagine the work with the new framework. Register at
Grant supports LEA and mental health partnerships
The Mental Health Services Oversight and Accountability Commission is seeking applications in response to the MHSSA to incentivize partnerships between behavioral health departments and education agencies for the purpose of increasing access to mental health services in locations that are easily accessible to students and their families. The final application due date is June 17, 2022, by 4 p.m. See details at the MHSOAC website, For more information, contact Monica Nepomuceno, education administrator, at
Grants available to support teacher prep on dyslexia
Pursuant to Assembly Bill 128, Dyslexia Grants to Preparation Program are available on a one-time basis in order to provide competitive awards of up to a maximum of $21,000. Commission on Teacher Credentialing-approved institutions of higher education or LEAs with CTC-approved preliminary teacher preparation programs can use this funding to update program curriculum and course offerings to align with the common trunk Teacher Performance Expectation, new Education Specialist TPEs, and include pedagogy on dyslexia for both general and special education programs.
Each eligible institution may apply for $7,000 per preliminary Education Specialist, Multiple Subject and/or Single Subject teacher preparation program for a maximum grant award of $21,000 per institution. The request for applications for this grant opportunity is now available and is due to the Commission by 5 p.m. on June 17, 2022.
Access the Dyslexia Grants to Preparation Programs RFA at
Contact Us
© 2022 Association of California School Administrators