Senator Joe Simitian (D-Palo Alto) has introduced a bill that would move back the state’s cutoff for Kindergarten readiness — a move recommended by policy experts. Currently, students must turn five by December 2nd of the year they enter Kindergarten; Simitian’s bill would move that date back to Sept. 1. The change would be phased in over three years starting in 2012.
“Today´s kindergarten classroom is a much different place than most of us experienced,” said Simitian. “We´re placing real academic demands on our kids, and the youngest are struggling to keep up. The evidence shows that giving these younger kindergarteners an extra year can make a big difference in their long term success.”
In addition to benefiting children, Simitian´s bill would also save the State an estimated $700 million dollars in annual education spending due to the reduced student population. The cumulative savings over 13 years would reach $9.1 billion.