BILL ANALYSIS Ó SENATE COMMITTEE ON EDUCATION Carol Liu, Chair 2013-2014 Regular Session BILL NO: AB 1719 AUTHOR: Weber AMENDED: May 23, 2014 FISCAL COMM: Yes HEARING DATE: June 25, 2014 URGENCY: No CONSULTANT:Lynn Lorber SUBJECT : Full-day Kindergarten. SUMMARY This bill requires the Superintendent of Public Instruction to submit to the Legislature, by March 1, 2015, a feasibility study and implementation plan for providing full-day kindergarten. BACKGROUND Current law: 1) Requires a student to be admitted to kindergarten if the student will be five-years old on or before September 1 of the 2014-15 school year and every year thereafter. (EC § 48000) 2) Authorizes school districts to admit to kindergarten, on a case-by-case basis, a student who will be five-years old during the school year, subject to the following conditions: a) The governing board of the school district determines that the admittance is in the best interests of the student. b) The parent is given information regarding the advantages and disadvantages and any other explanatory information about the effect of this early admittance. (EC § 48000) AB 1719 Page 2 3) Establishes the minimum schoolday for students in kindergarten as 180 minutes, inclusive of recess. Current law prohibits a student in kindergarten from being kept in school for more than four hours per day, exclusive of recess. (EC § 46117 and § 46111) 4) Requires a single-session kindergarten class to meet all of the following criteria: a) The class is for a minimum of 180 minutes per schooldays. b) The kindergarten class teacher is assigned to only one session of kindergarten daily as a principal teacher. c) The kindergarten teacher is a full-time certificated employee. d) The kindergarten teacher must be available for assistance or assignment in the instructional program of the primary grades when not involved in the kindergarten program. (EC § 46118) 5) Authorizes the kindergarten schoolday in an early primary program to exceed four hours if both of the following conditions are met: a) The extended-day kindergarten program does not exceed the length of the primary school day. b) The extended-day kindergarten program takes into account ample opportunity for both active and quiet activities with an integrated, experiential, and developmentally appropriate educational program. (EC § 8973) ANALYSIS This bill requires the Superintendent of Public Instruction to submit to the Legislature, by March 1, 2015, a feasibility study and implementation plan for providing full-day kindergarten. Specifically, this bill: AB 1719 Page 3 1) Requires the Superintendent of Public Instruction (SPI) to provide the Legislature with a feasibility study and implementation plan for providing a full-day kindergarten program in all public schools. 2) Requires the feasibility study and implementation plan to include recommendations for statutory changes and budgetary requirements to ensure a seamless transition to providing a full-day kindergarten program in all public schools. 3) Requires the SPI to consider, at a minimum, all of the following: a) The instructional, social, emotional, and developmental needs of children. b) Teacher and other school staffing issues. c) Classroom capacity issues. 4) Authorizes the SPI to convene a task force to advise the SPI on feasibility and implementation issues for the preparation of the study and plan. This bill requires the task force to include representatives of school district superintendents, principals, kindergarten teachers, related student support services personnel, and parents. 5) Requires the SPI to submit the study and plan by March 1, 2015, and sunsets the provisions of this bill on that date. STAFF COMMENTS 1) How many students currently attend kindergarten ? Kindergarten is considered a grade level; is factored AB 1719 Page 4 in the calculation of average daily attendance; and is included in the academic content standards, curricular frameworks and instructional materials. However, attendance in kindergarten is not mandatory and compulsory education laws begin at age 6. The California Department of Education (CDE) estimates that between 90-95% of eligible students attend kindergarten (public and private kindergarten); it is estimated that approximately 80% of eligible students attend kindergarten at a public school. Kindergarten is half-day. A survey of full-day kindergarten in California conducted by the Public Policy Institute of California in 2009 found that, in the 2007-08 school year, 43% of kindergarteners attended full-day kindergarten, with lower-performing and economically disadvantaged schools more likely to offer full-day programs. 2) Kindergarten teachers . According to the Assembly Education Committee analysis, most kindergarten teachers currently work a full day, splitting their time between two part-day kindergarten classrooms, assisting other teachers or working on other district duties. If the part-day teacher is now required to teach a full-day, the district would incur costs to cover the duties formerly performed by the part-day teacher. School districts currently receive the same average daily attendance apportionments for kindergarten students whether they attend a part-day or full-day program. 3) Author's amendments . This bill requires the Superintendent of Public Instruction to submit the study and plan to the Legislature by March 1, 2015. The author wishes to amend this bill to push the due date back to September 1, 2015. Should the study and plan also be submitted to the Governor and State Board of Education? AB 1719 Page 5 The author wishes to add representation of school facility personnel, and child development professionals, to the task force. 4) Fiscal impact . According to the Assembly Appropriations Committee, this bill would impose administrative costs to the California Department of Education, likely in the range of $120,000 to $150,000 to administer the task force and develop a study and implementation plan. 5) Related legislation . AB 1444 (Buchanan) requires, beginning with the 2016-17 school year, a student to have completed one year of kindergarten before being admitted to the first grade, thereby requiring kindergarten attendance. AB 1444 is pending in the Senate Appropriations Committee. 6) Prior legislation . AB 2046 (Coto, 2006) would have required kindergarten to be a full-day program, phased in over three years. The bill defined full-day kindergarten as instruction provided for a minimum of 230 minutes per schoolday, exclusive of lunch. AB 2046 was held in the Assembly Appropriations Committee. AB 520 (Koretz, 2001) would have authorized a school district, county office of education, or a charter school to elect to participate in the kindergarten full schoolday program that operates for the full school year and for the minimum schoolday established for students in first grade. AB 520 was amended to relate to another topic. SUPPORT American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees California Child Development Administrators Association AB 1719 Page 6 California State PTA Compton Unified School District Greater Sacramento Urban League Los Angeles County Education Fouindation Los Angeles County Office of Education Santa Clara County Office of Education OPPOSITION None on file.