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Lawmakers move back kindergarten start date

September 1, 2010 |  8:53 am

In the final minutes of the legislative session, lawmakers passed a measure that would require kids to turn five by Sept. 1 in the year they start kindergarten.

Under current law, children can start kindergarten in the fall of year they turn five, as long as their birthday is no later than Dec. 1.  Sen. Joe Simitian (D-Palo Alto), author of SB 1381, argued that the increased emphasis on academics in kindergarten increases the need for physical, emotional and social maturity among the students.

California is one of only four states with a cut-off date as late as Dec. 1.

If Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger signs the bill, the cut-off date would move back gradually, one month per year, until it reaches Sept. 1 in the 2014 school year.

--Jack Dolan in Sacramento