New Assembly Bill looks to create transitional kindergarten classrooms

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By Nely Galdamez

Service Employees International Union leader Judy Vega met with union members on May 23 to discuss the threat of Assembly Bill 837 and how it will negatively affect children. The meeting took place at an official office headquarters of SEIU in Los Angeles, California.

Vega informed the Mexican American Opportunity Foundation employees about AB 837 being a possible threat to their jobs due to loss of funding.

AB 837, Vega said, would divert most of the funding allocated in the federal budget for programs like the Mexican American Opportunity Foundation or other agencies which work with preschoolers.If passed AB 837 would give children who were born after

September 1 the opportunity to start kindergarten in a newly established Transitional Kindergarten Classroom.

The transfer of funds will away from preschool agencies would mean less opportunities offered to the public. The cut to the agencies funds would mean loss of jobs and classrooms growing in number of children per teacher.

Currently children born after September 1 are expected to stay in preschool for an extra year so they can meet the age requirement, 5 years old.

At 5 years old the school district considers children mentally ready to attend kindergarten, not before this age.

With the current requirements, agencies like Mexican American Opportunity Foundation, will have extra children for the coming year.

With AB 837, the funds for such agencies will go to the California school districts to create the new transitional kindergarten classrooms.

Children who are placed into these transitional kindergarten classrooms would only stay in the classroom until they reach the appropriate age for regal kindergarten classrooms. Once they reach the appropriate age the student will be transferred over to a regular Kindergarten.

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