Kindergarten Entry Date Bill Becomes Law
Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger signed SB 1381, authored by Sen. Joe Simitian (D - Palo Alto), into law on September 30, the last possible date for him to make a decision on the bill
The new law stipulates that a child must turn five-years-old by Sept. 1 of the school year in order to be eligible for kindergarten. For those children whose birthdates fall between Sept. 1 and Dec. 2 (the current entry date), school districts will provide transitional kindergarten programs.
"This is a victory for kids on two fronts," said Simitian. "We start kids when they're ready to succeed in school, and for younger children we provide a 'get ready' year of instruction as well."
LAUP has called for giving school districts the flexibility to partner with community-based organizations to implement these programs. The changes created by the bill will be phased in over several years.
The Governor issued the following statement after signing the bill:
"SB 1381 is a landmark accomplishment for early childhood developmental education in California, and I'm proud to sign this important legislation. The best investment we can make in the future of our state is to provide a quality education to California's children, and this legislation ensures that their academic careers are built on a strong foundation. I commend Senator Joe Simitian for authoring SB 1381 and for his steadfast dedication to California's students."