Kindergarten enrollment now mandatory for 5-year-olds

ACTION ALERT
Senate Bill 2768 requires that children who turn 5 on or before July 31 start school in the fall of that year. Hawaii’s compulsory education age currently starts at 6.
Mahalo to teachers who gave input and testimony during the legislative session.

Kindergarten is an important start to a lifetime of learning and academic achievement.
Studies show that full-day kindergarten boosts student achievement.  Teachers know that there are social and emotional benefits for students attending kindergarten.
Throughout the years, teachers have always supported publicly funded, quality kindergarten for all children because teachers know that kindergarten is a sound investment in the success of students and Hawaii’s future.  ~Mahalo.

HSTA 2014 Lobby Day


HSTA Lobbying Team

Kendra Ito-Mizota
Government Relations Specialist
Ed Garcia
Teacher Lobbyist
Wil Okabe
HSTA President
Al Nagasako
HSTA Executive Director

HONOLULU STAR-ADVERTISER

Kindergarten enrollment now mandatory for 5-year-olds

Abercrombie praises the law lowering the age for compulsory education in Hawaii

By Sarah Zoellick

Hawaii News Now - KGMB and KHNL

Senate Bill 2768 requires that children who turn 5 on or before July 31 start school in the fall of that year. Hawaii’s compulsory education age currently starts at 6.

As of this coming school year, all 5-year-olds will be required to attend kindergarten in Hawaii.

While the measure to mandate kindergarten signed Thursday by Gov. Neil Abercrombie is projected to affect only around 300 to 500 students, advocates praised the law for setting the stage for future early-learning initiatives.

“I’m very glad that we’re here today to put this policy statement into law to say that early learning matters, to say that kindergarten is important; we take it seriously as a state,” Sen. Jill Tokuda, chairwoman of the Senate Education Committee, said during a signing ceremony in the governor’s office at the state Capitol.

Senate Bill 2768 requires that children who turn 5 on or before July 31 start school in the fall of that year. Hawaii’s compulsory education age currently starts at 6.

The law does not make the July 31 cutoff mandatory for private schools, which typically have their own age requirements for kindergarten.

“We want to make sure every single child — no one’s left behind — has that foundation in kindergarten so that going forward throughout the years there’s no doubt that they’ll have every opportunity to succeed,” Tokuda said.

Lawmakers fast-tracked the bill at the end of the session to give the Department of Education enough time to get the word out to parents and community members about the change.

Abercrombie said he is pleased to be a part of the momentous occasion.

“In this instance, while the numbers of children may not be large with respect to those entering kindergarten, the fact that we are addressing what is clearly a gap situation is very, very important because it means we are crossing all the t’s and dotting all the i’s where this responsibility is concerned,” he said.

More than 97 percent of Hawaii’s 5-year-olds already attend kindergarten voluntarily.