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New state bill aims to give parents more flexibility with California’s new universal transitional kindergarten program

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The state Senate chamber at the California State Capitol.

Last month, Chino state senator Connie Leyva introduced a new bill that would add upon the universal transitional kindergarten bill that passed and was signed by Governor Newsom last year.

Universal transitional kindergarten requires that all children four years of age be admitted to a preschool program by the 2025/2026 school year.

What Senator Connie Leyva’s bill, SB 976, does is ensure that parents have the option to send their child to a community-based preschool program and not just one based out of a public elementary school.

“This piece (SB-976) will allow all four year old’s to have transitional kindergarten, and their parents will be able to do what they need so they can keep working. I think this is the fix to a small problem,” said state senator Connie Leyva.

Leyva says supporting community-based providers and their employees is important and will ensure that they will not be forced to close due to declining enrollment.

Jonathan Linden is a reporter at 91.9 KVCR in San Bernardino, California. He joined KVCR in July 2021 and had previously interned for the station in the Spring of 2019. Outside of KVCR, Jonathan also interned for KALW in San Francisco, KFI in Burbank, and Radio HCJB in Quito, Ecuador.