BILL ANALYSIS                                                                                                                                                                                                    

                                                                  SB 1381
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          SB 1381 (Simitian and Steinberg)
          As Amended  August 30, 2010
          Majority vote 

           SENATE VOTE  :28-4  
           EDUCATION           8-0         APPROPRIATIONS      12-5        
          |Ayes:|Brownley, Nestande,       |Ayes:|Fuentes, Bradford,        |
          |     |Ammiano,                  |     |Huffman, Coto, Davis, De  |
          |     |Arambula, Carter, Eng,    |     |Leon, Gatto, Hall,        |
          |     |Miller,                   |     |Skinner, Solorio,         |
          |     |Torlakson                 |     |Torlakson, Torrico        |
          |     |                          |     |                          |
          |     |                          |Nays:|Conway, Harkey, Miller,   |
          |     |                          |     |Nielsen, Norby            |
           EDUCATION           8-0                                         
          |Ayes:|Brownley, Nestande,       |     |                          |
          |     |Ammiano, Arambula,        |     |                          |
          |     |Carter, Eng, Miller,      |     |                          |
          |     |Torlakson                 |     |                          |
          |     |                          |     |                          |
           SUMMARY  :  Moves up the dates by which a child must turn five to  
          enroll in kindergarten and six to enroll in first grade.   
          Specifically,  this bill  :  

          1)Specifies that the provisions of this bill may be cited as the  
            Kindergarten Readiness Act of 2010. 

          2)Specifies that in computing the average daily attendance (ADA)  
            of a school district, there shall be included the attendance  
            of pupils in kindergarten after they have completed one school  
            year in kindergarten or pupils in a transitional kindergarten  
            program after they have completed one year in that program if  
            one of the following conditions is met:


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             a)   The school district has on file for each of those pupils  
               an agreement made pursuant to existing law, approved in  
               form and content by the department and signed by the  
               pupil's parent or guardian, that the pupil may continue in  
               kindergarten for not more than one additional school year;  

             b)   The pupils participated in a transitional kindergarten  

          3)Specifies that a school district may not include for  
            apportionment purposes the attendance of any pupil for more  
            than two years in kindergarten or for more than two years in a  
            combination of transitional kindergarten and kindergarten.  

          4)Specifies the following dates by which a child must turn five  
            to enroll in kindergarten maintained by the school district:

             a)   On or before December 2 for the 2011-12 school year;

             b)   On or before November 1 for the 2012-13 school year;

             c)   On or before October 1 for the 2013-14 school year; and,  

             d)   On or before September 1 for the 2014-15 school year and  
               each school year thereafter.

          5)Strikes the provision authorizing a child who will have his or  
            her fifth birthday on or before December 2nd to be admitted to  
            the prekindergarten summer program maintained by the school  
            district for pupils who will be enrolling in kindergarten in  

          6)Specifies that as a condition of receipt of apportionment for  
            pupils in a transitional kindergarten program, a school  
            district or charter school shall ensure that a child is  
            admitted to a transitional kindergarten program maintained by  
            the school district as follows:

             a)   In the 2012-13 school year, a child will have his or her  
               fifth birthday between November 2 and December 2;

             b)   In the 2013-14 school year, a child will have his or her  


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               fifth birthday between October 2 and December 2; and, 

             c)   In the 2014-15 school year and each school year  
               thereafter, a child will have his or her fifth birthday  
               between September 2 and December 2.

          7)Defines "transitional kindergarten" as the first year of a  
            two-year kindergarten program that uses a modified  
            kindergarten curriculum that is age and developmentally  

          8)Specifies that a transitional kindergarten shall not be  
            construed as a new program or higher level of service.

          9)Makes corresponding changes to the dates by which a child must  
            turn six to enroll in first grade as follows:

             a)   December 2 for the 2011-12 school year;

             b)   November 1 for the 2012-13 school year;

             c)   October 1 for the 2013-14 school year; and, 

             d)   September 1 for the 2014-15 school year and each school  
               year thereafter.

          10)Specifies that for good cause, the governing board of a  
            school district may permit a child of proper age to be  
            admitted to a class after the first school month of the school  

          11)Finds and declares that pupils participating in transitional  
            kindergarten are to be included in computing the ADA of a  
            school district for purposes of calculating school district  
            apportionments and the funding requirements of Proposition 98.  

           FISCAL EFFECT  :  According to the Assembly Appropriations  

          1)General Fund (GF)/Proposition 98 revenue limit funding costs  
            of $19.8 million in 2011-12, $40.5 million in 2012-13, and  
            $57.2 million in 2013-14 associated with additional children  
            attending a transitional kindergarten program as opposed to  


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            enrolling in kindergarten.

          2)Annual GF/Proposition 98 state reimbursable mandated costs, of  
            at least $13.2 million to school districts to hire additional  
            teachers for the transitional kindergarten programs.

          3)Annual GF/Proposition 98 state reimbursable mandated costs, of  
            at least $2.6 million to school districts to provide  
            professional development to teachers and purchase portable  
            classroom facilities for the transitional kindergarten  

           COMMENTS  :  This bill moves up the date by which a child must  
          turn five for kindergarten entry one month per year beginning  
          with the 2012-13 school year for three years.  By the 2014-15  
          school year, a child must be five years old on or before  
          September 1st in order to start kindergarten.  California is one  
          of four states (Connecticut, Michigan and Vermont) to have  
          cut-off dates between December 1 and January 1.  Thirty five  
          states have cut-off dates between August 31 and October 16; four  
          states have cut-off dates on or before August 15; six states  
          leave the entrance-age decision up to local school districts;  
          and one state allows districts to choose September 30 or August  
          1.  It is estimated that 115,000 or 25% of a kindergarten class  
          would be affected by this proposal (there were 461,043  
          kindergarteners in 2008-09).  The California Department of  
          Education (CDE) projects displacement of 3,500 teachers  
          associated with this shift.  

          Due to increased emphasis on test scores, kindergarten classes  
          now place heavier emphasis on academics.  Success in  
          kindergarten is not only affected by what a child knows or not  
          knows academically, other factors such as physical, social and  
          emotional readiness are also important.  Delaying the entry of  
          four-year-old children will give them time to prepare and mature  
          (e.g., able to follow directions, take care of themselves).  

          Numerous studies have been conducted relative to school  
          readiness and the age of entry into kindergarten.  Some studies  
          report a benefit to delayed entry while others show there are  
          little or no long-term benefits.  The following are a few  

          A May 2008 Public Policy Institute of California (PPIC) review  


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          of 14 existing studies found that students who enter  
          kindergarten at an older age do better on math and reading test  
          scores, with the impact lasting into the eighth grade.  Studies  
          also suggest that older students are less likely to be retained  
          a grade or to be diagnosed with a learning disability, while  
          having higher likelihood of attending college and earning higher  
          wages.  The report notes, however, that the actual birthdates  
          for entry would affect individual pupils in different ways.   
          Those kids who are delayed for a year will be the older kids in  
          their class, but those with the mid-year birthdays will now be  
          the youngest.  While unlikely to occur, this can potentially  
          affect graduation rates.  California's compulsory education law  
          requires attendance in school from six through 18 years of age;  
          kindergarten is not mandatory in California.  Kids who turn 18  
          earlier will be able to leave school earlier and therefore may  
          not graduate.  

          The PPIC also reports the results of one study that shows that  
          kids from higher income families fare better than kids from  
          disadvantaged families due to increased opportunities for access  
          to prekindergarten/preschool programs.  This is evident by  
          parents who intentionally hold children with fall birthdays  
          back, a practice commonly referred to as "redshirting" in order  
          to provide their children with extra time to gain the skills  
          necessary to be successful for academics.  PPIC has determined  
          that the benefits of delaying entry overrides the negatives, but  
          points out that the effect of delaying entry to kindergarten is  
          contingent upon the extent to which disparities in skill  
          acquisition between kids are removed.  Finally, the PPIC  
          recommends that policymakers pay special attention to the effect  
          on disadvantaged kids and English learners, who may need  
          additional prekindergarten opportunities.  

          Another report, "What Age Should Children Enter Kindergarten? A  
          Question for Policy Makers and Parents" (Stipek, 2002),  
          concludes that school experience makes a greater contribution to  
          academic achievement than delaying children's school entry.   
          According to Stipek, research does not support any unique  
          "threshold" entry age by which young children are most ready to  
          begin school. Children from low-income backgrounds, already at  
          risk of starting school behind their middle-class peers in terms  
          of academic skills, may be even further disadvantaged when  
          kindergarten is delayed.


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          A 2005 study by the RAND Corporation titled "Delaying  
          Kindergarten:  Effects on Test Scores and Childcare Costs" found  
          that delaying kindergarten boosts standardized test scores in  
          math and reading.  However, the study also noted that delaying  
          kindergarten can have a negative economic effect on families by  
          imposing additional childcare costs for families.  The report  
          suggests that "policymakers may need to view entrance age  
          policies and childcare policies as a package."

          The Legislative Analyst's Office (LAO), in its analysis of the  
          Fiscal Year (FY) 2010-11 budget, supports the date change and  
          recommends implementation beginning in the 2011-12 school year  
          in order to realize approximately $700 million savings from  
          revenue limit and categorical program savings.  The LAO suggests  
          that some of the funding could be used for subsidized preschool  
          for low-income kids.  Concerns have been raised about moving the  
          birthdates for kindergarten for budgetary reasons.  The reason  
          for delaying entry is to ensure that the kids are better  
          prepared for school, academically and social-emotionally.  If  
          over 100,000 kids are prevented from starting their education,  
          the state should ensure that they have access to programs that  
          will ensure their school readiness.  

          This bill proposes to phase in the change over three years time  
          by moving the date by which a child must turn five years old one  
          month at a time to enroll in kindergarten, starting with  
          November 1st in the 2012-13 school year.  There have been  
          numerous bills on this subject over the last 13 years.  Some  
          bills have proposed phasing in the change one month each year  
          over three years, while the majority has proposed to make the  
          change in one year.  The author's office argues that phasing in  
          the change results in less of an impact and enables districts to  
          better adjust to the loss of enrollment.  However, the  
          California School Boards Association argues that making the  
          change in one year will be less confusing for families and  
          schools and makes the transition easier.  

          This bill provides that children displaced as a result of the  
          birthday changes shall be admitted to a transitional  
          kindergarten program maintained by the school district, defined  
          as the first year of a two year kindergarten program using a  
          modified kindergarten curriculum.  This bill also establishes  
          that transitional kindergarten is eligible for ADA, but  
          prohibits a school district from claiming ADA for a child for  


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          more than two years in kindergarten or for more than two years  
          in a combination of transitional kindergarten and kindergarten.   

          There are anecdotal reports of increasing number of districts  
          experimenting with transitional kindergarten for children with  
          fall birthdays.  Districts are using as the basis of their  
          programs existing law that allows parents and school districts  
          to, upon the conclusion of one year of kindergarten, retain a  
          child in kindergarten for another year.  These programs differ  
          from preschool programs in that they are taught by credentialed  
          teachers and are adapted from kindergarten curriculum.  Another  
          advantage is that the kids will likely be on a school site where  
          they will experience a classroom setting, but without the stigma  
          of being "held back" for another year of kindergarten.  

          The bill, as amended August 30, 2010, adds a provision that  
          finds and declares that kids in transitional kindergarten shall  
          be included in the calculation of ADA, and strikes the provision  
          to notwithstand the requirement that changes or adjustments in  
          "increases in enrollment" for the purposes of calculating the  
          Proposition 98 guarantee not be made unless an appropriate  
          rebasing occurs. 

           Analysis Prepared by  :    Sophia Kwong Kim / ED. / (916) 319-2087  

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