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Simitian pushes bill to change kinder cutoff date

Original post made on Apr 13, 2010

State Sen. Joe Simitian has joined a chorus of child-development experts in calling for California children to be 5 years old before starting kindergarten. On Wednesday, the Senate Education Committee will hear testimony on Simitian's proposal.

Read the full story here Web Link posted Tuesday, April 13, 2010, 12:09 PM

Comments (4)

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Posted by Fuzzy Math
a resident of Blossom Valley
on Apr 13, 2010 at 2:50 pm

Regardless of the academic merit of the idea, there's some funny business in this economic argument:

"Removing the approximately 100,000 children who would no longer be eligible to start kindergarten would save about $700 million a year, according to the independent Legislative Analysts's Office. Those savings would continue through the 13 years the children would have been in the system, adding up to $9.1 billion, Simitian said."

The savings will only be in one year. The kids born from September 1 to December 1 can't enter in the first year but they will enter in the second year. During the second year, there will be fewer 4-year-olds enrolling but there will be an equivalent increase in the number of 5-year-olds enrolling (due to the kids who deferred for a year).

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Posted by stupid is as stupid does
a resident of Waverly Park
on Apr 13, 2010 at 10:09 pm

Agree with Fuzzy Math here.
There is no 'savings'. you are simply shifting expense back a year. All those kids you don't let go to school this year will go next year. They aren't going away. The shift happens over 3 years (not one as in Fuzzy's explanation), but the result is the same.

Additionally, beyond the teacher petition, are there studies that back up the change? Watching my 4 1/2 year old grow up, i personally think we could be teaching kids more, earlier. She learns so quickly and her mind is totally open, especially to language. why do we wait so long to teach language?

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Posted by Huh??
a resident of another community
on Apr 14, 2010 at 3:46 pm

I would like to see some real documented statistics here on the rate that "Almost every child who comes to me for reading support has a fall birthday. They don't catch up somehow down the line. Instead, they end up on everyone's radar."
I think that is a pretty bold statement to make with no evidence to back that up.

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Posted by Lourdes Calande
a resident of Blossom Valley
on Apr 15, 2010 at 8:50 pm

I agree that the expectations for kindergarten are too high. Having kids younger than 5 has tremendous effects later in elementary or middle school. In many cases these comes because the children were too young. If we continue increasing the academic expectation, we need to prevent that young children wait a little more to be more emotionally ready to sit learn and follow rules.

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