Wednesday, January 8, 2014
Assemblymember Weber Introduces Mandatory Kindergarten Legislation
SACRAMENTO – Assemblymember Shirley N. Weber (D-San Diego) inaugurated the 2014 Legislative Session by introducing AB 1444, a measure requiring mandatory kindergarten for the state’s schoolchildren.
“We are building a lot of the state’s educational policy – pre-school, pre-K, transitional kindergarten - around the assumption that California’s children will attend kindergarten,” Weber said. “But a lot of Californians will be surprised to find out kindergarten is actually not mandatory in the state.”
Weber, a former San Diego City School Board trustee and president noted that the voluntary status of kindergarten allows parents to delay their child’s entrance into school, leaving students unprepared for the educational environment when they enroll in first grade and undermining their academic success in later grades.
“We’ve long known the benefits of early childhood education, including kindergarten, on later academic outcomes,” she said. “We are making a significant investment in the state’s K-12 system. It’s time we made kindergarten mandatory to ensure that investment in student success is maximized.”