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Hawaii

May 25, 2006

Senate Bill 2186: Mandatory Kindergarten for 5-Year-Olds

Authors:
Senators Chun Oakland, Kanno, Fukunaga

Summary:
Senate Bill 2186 would have required any child who will turn 5 by January 1 to attend a public or private school or be homeschooled. Kindergarten or junior kindergarten will be mandatory if the child is 5 by that date. House Bill 2088 is identical to this bill.

A total of three bills were introduced in the House to lower the compulsory attendance age from 6 to 5 and make kindergarten mandatory. These bills are H.B. 2088, H.B. 2089, and H.B. 2139.

Last year, many thought this legislation could not be stopped but your calls were successful in preventing this legislation from passing. We were successful again. Your calls prevented any movement on these bills.

If any of these bills had passed homeschool parents would be required to file the notice of intent letter if their child turns 5 by January 1. Parents would also have been required to submit an annual progress report at the end of their school year for their 5-year-old.

Status:

1/23/2006Introduced and Passed First Reading
01/23/2006(Senate) Referred to Senate Education and Military Affairs, Senate Ways and Means committees
01/27/2006(Senate) The Committee on Senate Education and Military Affairs has scheduled a public hearing on 02-03-06 at 1:15 pm in Conference Room 225.
02/08/2006(Senate) The Committee on Senate Education and Military Affairs Recommend(S) that the Measure be Held.
05/05/2006Legislature adjourned.

HSLDA's Position:
This bill was opposed.

Action Requested:
None

Background:

Currently there are three bills in the House—H.B. 2088, H.B. 2089, and H.B. 2139—and two bills in the Senate—S.B. 2186 and S.B. 2888. All of these bills require a homeschool parent to file the notice of intent letter if their child is to turn 5 by January 1. Homeschool parents will also be required to submit an annual progress report at the end of their school year for their 5-year-old.

It is interesting to note that a research study conducted in 2005 by Stanford University and the University of California found that "attendance in preschool centers, even for short periods of time each week, hinders the rate at which young children develop social skills and display the motivation to engage classroom tasks, as reported by their kindergarten teachers."


 Other Resources

Jan.-24-2006—Hawaii—Calls Needed to Stop Mandatory Kindergarten

Feb.-1-2006—Hawaii—Hearing Friday on Mandatory Kindergarten Bill

Feb.-10-2006—Hawaii—Your Calls are Making the Difference!

Bill Text (html)

Bill Text (pdf)

Bill History