Panel OKs Bill to Make Kindergarten Mandatory

From Times Staff, Wire Reports

A bill that would make kindergarten compulsory for California children cleared the state Senate Education Committee on Wednesday on a 9-4 vote.

AB 634 will next be heard by the Senate Appropriations Committee in late August, after legislators return from their summer recess.

The bill, which the Assembly has already passed, was written by Assemblyman Herb Wesson (D-Culver City) at the behest of Delaine Eastin, state superintendent of public instruction.

Under the bill, kindergarten would be required starting with the 2003-04 school year.

State education officials estimate that as many as 50,000 children now sit out kindergarten each year.

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