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Editorial: Bill would aid kids, save tax money

Tuesday, May 04, 2010

Sacramento Bee

California has one of the latest cutoff dates for kindergartners in the United States. Most states require a child to be 5 years old before entering kindergarten.

The result is that California has about 100,000 4-year-olds in kindergarten. [...]

Sen. Joe Simitian, D-Palo Alto, has introduced Senate Bill 1381, seeking to phase in a new cutoff date over three years. By 2014, all children would have to be 5 on Sept. 1 before entering kindergarten.

The question then becomes, what happens to the kids who would no longer be in kindergarten and who have working parents? Simitian’s bill takes care of that. Half of the $700 million in savings would go toward expanding preschool programs. [...]

This bill provides an opportunity to increase the number of quality preschool slots for California’s 4-year-olds – and to reduce some of the budget strain on public schools. In tough budget times, these kinds of creative solutions will help the state save money, while making investments in the future.

View the full story (Sacramento Bee)