California Legislature Passes Mandatory Kindergarten Bill by Senator Susan Rubio
SACRAMENTO – The California Senate today passed an education bill by Senator Susan Rubio (D-Baldwin Park) that ensures all children receive critical instruction in their earliest years of learning.
Senate Bill 70 requires all students to complete one year in kindergarten before entering first grade so that each child is prepared socially and academically before entering elementary school. Currently, parents are able to have their child skip kindergarten.
“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. I thank the sponsor of this bill and my legislative colleagues for their support on a bill that will change lives.”
“Research shows that Kindergarten is an essential part of a student’s development, narrowing opportunity gaps and reducing chronic absenteeism,” said Los Angeles Unified Superintendent Alberto M. Carvalho. “Mandating a full year of kindergarten ensures students receive high-quality academic, social and developmentally-appropriate learning experiences. As a proud sponsor of SB 70, Los Angeles Unified is grateful that a coalition of other school districts and organizations representing children, parents, teachers, businesses and communities have come together to expand educational options for our youngest learners across California”
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 number of school districts, labor partners, parents, and educational advocacy organizations and now heads to the Governor’s desk.
Senator Susan Rubio represents Senate District 22. For more information, visit https://sd22.senate.ca.gov/
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