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Earlier cutoff date to enter kindergarten a step closer in California

Tuesday, September 07, 2010

Los Angeles Times

A bill that would require pupils entering kindergarten to reach 5 by Sept. 1 and that would create another level of instruction for younger children was passed by the Legislature and awaits the governor’s signature.

The bill, SB-1381, which was approved by the Legislature last week, would also provide a year of transitional kindergarten for children with fall birthdays, essentially creating another grade level for an estimated 120,000 4-year-olds.

California is one of only a few states with a kindergarten cutoff date later than Sept. 1, and many educators believe that puts younger children at a disadvantage when entering today’s academically demanding kindergarten classes.

“Today’s kindergarten is not what most of us think of when we remember our own experience decades ago,” said state Sen. Joe Simitian (D- Palo Alto), who wrote the legislation. “It’s a pretty rigorous place these days, and the youngest are struggling to keep up. One thing that caught my attention was a kindergarten report card that had a space for algebra skills, and I thought, ‘OK, this is a lot more challenging.’ Too many kids are just not ready

View the full story (Los Angeles Times)