CA Senate Passes Mandatory Kindergarten Bill by Senator Rubio

January 26, 2022

SACRAMENTO, CA – In a bipartisan vote, the California Senate today passed a mandatory kindergarten bill by Senator Susan Rubio (D-Baldwin Park) that will ensure all children receive critical instruction in their earliest years of learning.

SB 70 will require all students to complete one year in kindergarten before entering first grade to ensure children are prepared socially and academically before entering elementary school. Currently, parents are able to delay their child’s entrance into school until the first grade.

“As a public school teacher for 17 years, I have witnessed the detrimental impact on young students who miss out on fundamental early education,” said Senator Rubio. “The voluntary participation for kindergarten leaves students unprepared for the educational environment they will encounter in elementary school. The pandemic has exacerbated this reality. I thank my Senate colleagues for their support and look forward to working with the Assembly and the governor on this critical legislation.”

“Research has shown that Kindergarten is an essential part of a student’s development and now, more than ever, this critical early instruction is necessary in order to narrow opportunity gaps that were exacerbated by COVID-19,” said Los Angeles Unified Board President Kelly Gonez and Interim Superintendent Megan K. Reilly. “Mandating a full year of kindergarten ensures students receive high-quality academic, social, and developmentally-appropriate learning experiences, as well as serves as an important tool in reducing chronic absenteeism. Los Angeles Unified is proud to be a sponsor of SB 70, and thanks Senator Susan Rubio and the California State Senate for passing this bill with overwhelming support in the Senate Floor.”

According to the National Education Association, kindergarteners who miss 10% or more school days have lower academic performance when they reach the first grade. Experts predict that low-income, K-12 Latino students will scholastically fall as much as 9 months— a full academic year— behind non-Hispanic White and higher-income students from classes missed in spring 2020 alone.

SB 70 is supported by a large number of school districts, labor partners, parents, and educational advocacy organizations. It now heads to the State Assembly.

Senator Susan Rubio represents Senate District 22. For more information, visit her website at


Media contact: Edward Barrera,