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New law raises age to start kindergarten in California

Saturday, October 02, 2010

Associated Press

California will require kids to be 5 years old when they start kindergarten and create a new grade level for pre-K children after Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger signed legislation aimed at improving student achievement.

The bill approved late Thursday will push up the date by which children must turn 5 to enter kindergarten from Dec. 2 to Sept. 1. The change will be phased in one month at a time over three years starting in fall 2012.

“This is a victory for kids on two fronts,” said state Sen. Simitian, D-Palo Alto, who authored Senate Bill 1381. “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.” The estimated $700 million saved by delaying kindergarten for roughly 120,000 children annually will be used to pay for “transitional kindergarten,” a new grade level for children with fall birthdays who will be too young to start regular kindergarten.

View the full story (Associated Press)