Students listen to their teacher during a transitional kindergarten class in Long Beach.

Declining school enrollment seems to be a fact of life in California’s TK-12 system. However, one of the few bright spots in the picture is kindergarten enrollment, including TK, or transitional kindergarten, which rose more than 5 percent to 496,000 students over the past year. It is now the biggest cohort among all grades.

And yet even there, the numbers fall short of projections. State officials had predicted the average daily attendance of students in TK would be 120,000. But as of the first half of the year, it was only 91,000, according to reports filed at the California Department of Education.

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