TK eligibility dates extended for 2023/24 school year

Feb. 2—As part of the state's mandate to expand eligibility for transitional kindergarten (TK), families with children turning 5 between Sept. 2, 2023, and April 2, 2024, will be able to enroll for the 2023/24 school year.

In 2021, California Gov. Gavin Newsom approved a TK expansion plan to extend the age of enrollment eligibility over the course of five years. The goal is for all 4-year-old children in California to be part of the TK-12 school system by the 2025/26 school year, said Pamela Aurangzeb, assistant superintendent of educational services for Yuba City Unified School District.

The first part of the expansion plan was introduced last year, making children who turn 5 between Sept. 2 and Feb. 2 eligible for TK in the 2022/23 school year.

"We're in the middle of the expansion, and for this particular round, we have two additional months of eligibility for students to enroll based on their birthday," Aurangzeb said.

Marysville Joint Unified School District also follows this expansion plan, according to the district's kindergarten enrollment website. Children who do not turn 5 by April 2, 2024, may qualify for the Marysville Joint Unified preschool program.

Aurangzeb also said that student participation in preschool within Yuba City Unified is still an available option.

"All the state preschools through the school district will still take students that are in this range, so parents do have the option of enrolling in the TK program or keeping their child in the preschool program for one more year," she said.

TK is a more structured educational program that prepares young students for kindergarten as opposed to preschool, which has a more limited level of education, Aurangzeb said. TK also utilizes K-12 teachers with multi-subject credentials while preschool teachers are not subjected to these same requirements.

TK programs for Yuba City Unified will be expanded based on community demand, Auranzeb said. Eligibility will continue to expand over the next few years, so parents are encouraged to enroll.

"Based on just the numbers of our existing programs, if you add two months, we anticipate adding three additional classrooms across the district. Where they're placed will depend upon enrollment, so if we have a large number of students enrolling from the north side of town, we'll make sure to add a class there," she said. "We'll make sure to expand based on where the students need the program to exist."

Enrollment for Marysville Joint Unified is now open. Parents can enroll their child for the district's TK program online at TK enrollment for Yuba City Unified will open on March 15. Parents are encouraged to monitor the Yuba City Unified School District website for more updates regarding enrollment.