Monday, September 29, 2014

Assemblymember Weber’s Response to the Governor’s Action on Her Kindergarten Legislation

SAN DIEGO - Assemblymember Shirley N. Weber (D-San Diego) issued the following response to California Governor Jerry Brown’s signing of AB 1719 (Full-Day Kindergarten) and vetoing of AB 1444 (Mandatory Kindergarten):

“I am grateful that the Governor decided to sign AB 1719 and am pleased that he agrees we need to evaluate existing Full-Day kindergarten programs with a view to implementing it statewide.

“I am, however, disappointed that he chose to veto AB 1444, a bill I jointly authored with Assembly Education Chair, Joan Buchanan, which would have required kindergarten attendance before entering the first grade. The recent report from the Attorney General’s office shows that chronic absenteeism is especially acute in kindergarten and first grade with the end result that these children only have a 17- percent chance of being able to read well by the 3rd grade. Without this critical skill, they have a significantly higher likelihood of dropping out of school altogether and ending up in the correctional system or dependent on social services.

“Making kindergarten mandatory will go a long way toward getting parents to take this critical early education seriously and giving their children an opportunity to succeed. I look forward to working with the Governor in the upcoming legislative session on this issue.”

Assemblymember Shirley Weber, representing California’s 79th Assembly District, is a member of the Assembly Education and Higher Committees and Chair of the Assembly Select Committee on Higher Education in San Diego County.

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