Michigan Transitional Kindergarten: A First Look at Program Reach and Features

Thousands of young Michigan children attend state-funded transitional kindergarten (TK) programs. These programs are intended to provide an additional year of early education before children begin traditional kindergarten. School districts in Michigan choose whether or not to offer TK programs. This brief is part of a larger study of Michigan TK. Here, we provide the first evidence on the program’s features and reach within the state.

Key findings

  1. The majority of students in Michigan public schools are enrolled in a school district that offers a transitional kindergarten (TK) program.
  2. Districts that offer TK are more likely to be in suburbs and towns and to serve fewer students historically underserved by public education systems. 
  3. TK primarily serves students with summer and fall birthdays.
  4. Curricula and assessments vary across TK programs. 
  5. District leaders are overwhelmingly positive about their TK programs.