The 2022 Washington State Legislature directed WSIPP to conduct an analysis of transitional kindergarten programs offered by school districts in Washington State and to evaluate student participation in transitional kindergarten programs. The study must, to the extent feasible given available data, include the following information:
- The number of school districts providing transitional kindergarten programs, including the number of classrooms and students in the program per district;
- The number of children participating in transitional kindergarten programs across the state, disaggregated by demographic information such as race, gender, and income level;
- The number of children participating in transitional kindergarten programs that attended prekindergarten previous to transitional kindergarten;
- The number of children participating in transitional kindergarten who received early learning services through the early childhood education and assistance program;
- The number of children participating in transitional kindergarten with an Individualized Education Program;
- How children are selected and prioritized for enrollment in transitional kindergarten;
- The differences in teacher preparation, certification, and classroom instruction for transitional kindergarten compared to the early childhood education and assistance program; and
- The identification of why school districts offer transitional kindergarten, ECEAP, and other early learning programs, such as traditional or developmental pre-kindergarten; and what funding sources are used.
Additionally, the study must compare the use of transitional kindergarten in Washington State to use in other states, and review any outcome evaluation data available from other states.
A final report is due to the governor, the Washington State Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction, the Washington State Department of Children, Youth and Families, and the Legislature by December 31, 2023.