Governor Jerry BrownOn 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.





  1. Bryan Flores says:

    I completely disagree with the governors decision to veto mandatory kindergarten. The younger years of a child’s life can have a profound influence on the way the child develops. If that child does not have social interactions with other children or have an idea of what school really is then this could potentially harm the child. Although, it is the up to the parents discretion whether or not they want their child to go to kindergarten we cannot allow any child’s maturation to be stunted because of their parents decisions.

    • Mario Felix says:

      I agree with Brian, we cannot leave this up to the parents. I’m not hatin’ on Cali, but c’mon lets be real, the parents would just lag their child’s education. Whether it be due to lack of buses lack of transportation, parents in lower class communities already struggle to get their child to school. Another year before school would mainly give the parents another year of better working hours. As cynical as it sounds, some people (especially lower class Californians) cannot be trusted with something as serious as a crucial time in a child’s life.

  2. Gabriel Garcia says:

    Mandatory kindergarten would be a law I would welcome.
    Kindergarten was my first entrance in school as I did not go to preschool, likewise as many others I know have. This year taught children how to properly behave and master basic skills before first grade.
    It is not about parent’s choices, it is for the benefits of young students and their development of social behavior.

  3. Carlene Cogliati says:

    What this article does not point out is that this was passed by both the House and Senate in a full bi-partisan sweep. How common is that these days? The Home School Legal Defense seems to be the only one in agreement with the Gov. and homeschoolers can do Kindergarten at home too so what’s the deal? The HSLDA’s ‘evidence’ is hooey as many studies have proven the opposite. So many children not only go to Kindergarten but pre-school as well, that those who don’t, start 1st grade way behind. They know it, it affects their self image and drags them down. So again – WHAT’S THE DEAL? the DEAL is that if Kindergarten is mandatory the state has to fund them just as it does other students!!! He’s trying to save money at our student’s expense. This might not seem like a big deal in the big picture BUT IT IS! Governor Brown, If everyone else can see the sense of this, you can too. Do what is best for our students, our schools and this state. FIX THIS!