California bill would raise kindergarten age to 5 – San Jose Mercury News

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SACRAMENTO, Calif.—California may soon close its kindergartens to 4-year-olds.

The state Senate on Wednesday approved a bill requiring children to have turned 5 by Sept. 1 to begin kindergarten during that school year. The current cut-off date is Dec. 2, one of the latest in the country.

The Legislative Analyst’s Office estimates SB1381 could save the state $700 million per year by reducing enrollment. About 100,000 children start kindergarten before their 5th birthday.

Half the savings would go to preschool programs, while the rest will go toward the state's $20 billion budget deficit.

Supporters say today’s kindergarten classrooms are too demanding for most 4-year-olds.

The legislation passed on a 28-4 vote and now heads to the Assembly.