On September 28, California Governor Jerry Brown vetoed legislation that would have required all children to complete kindergarten before entering first grade. This bill, AB 1444, supported by teachers’ unions, would have had the practical effect of mandating that all 5 year-olds attend kindergarten. The Homeschool Legal Defense Association among other groups objected to the legislation on the grounds that it would deny parental choice over education. HSLDA also cited evidence that mandatory early education does not improve the quality of education and can lead to behavioral problems.
Governor Brown said, “I would prefer to let parents determine what is best for the children, rather than mandate an entirely new grade level.”
In May, Hawaii Governor Neil Abercrombie signed legislation (SB 2768) mandating kindergarten for all children who would be five years old by July 31, unless otherwise exempt.