House Bill 609 and Senate Bill 387: Lowering Compulsory Attendance Age, Mandatory Kindergarten

Hawaii
HOME | LAWS | ORGANIZATIONS | CASES | LEGISLATION
Hawaii

Last Updated: May 1, 2014
House Bill 609 and Senate Bill 387: Lowering Compulsory Attendance Age, Mandatory Kindergarten
House Senate
Sponsors:
Representatives Takayama, Hashem, Oshiro, Yamashita, and Cullen
Sponsors:
Senators Chun Oakland, Galuteria, Shimabukuro, Baker, and L. Thielen
Summary:

House Bill 609 lowers the compulsory school attendance age from 6 years to 5 years and makes kindergarten attendance mandatory except for children exempted by filing a homeschool notice or by children whose parents decide attendance is not in their best interest. Children who are age 5 by July 31 of the 2013-2014 school year will be considered of compulsory education age.

Summary:

Senate Bill 387 lowers the compulsory school attendance age from 6 years to 5 years and makes kindergarten attendance mandatory except for children exempted by filing a homeschool notice or by children whose parents decide attendance is not in their best interest. Children who are age 5 by July 31 of the 2013-2014 school year will be considered of compulsory education age.

Status:

01/22/2013     House     Introduced and referred to the House Committee on Education and the House Committee on Finance
12/18/2013     House     Carried over to 2014 Regular Session
05/01/2014     House     Bill died when the legislature adjourned

Status:

01/22/2013     Senate     Introduced and referred to the Senate Committee on Education, the Senate Committee on Judiciary and Labor, and the Senate Committee on Ways and Means
12/18/2013     Senate     Carried over to 2014 Regular Session
05/01/2014     Senate     Bill died when the legislature adjourned

HSLDA's Position:
Oppose.

HSLDA is opposed to lowering the compulsory attendance age.

HSLDA's Position:
Oppose.

HSLDA is opposed to lowering the compulsory attendance age.

Action Requested:
None at this time
Action Requested:
None at this time
Background:

Lowering the compulsory attendance age from 6 to 5 would subject Hawaii home educators to the requirements of the homeschool statute one year earlier than now required.

If Hawaii were to lower the compulsory school attendance age, it would join only eight other states that have their compulsory attendance age that low. Twenty-four states, including Hawaii, have their compulsory attendance age at 6. Sixteen states have it at 7 and two states wait until 8.

According to the 2005 NAEP test scores of children from states that have low compulsory school attendance ages (5–6) did not score any higher than children from the other states, and in some subjects their average was actually lower.

Many education experts have concluded that beginning a child's formal education too early may actually result in burnout and poor scholastic performance later.

Lowering the compulsory attendance age erodes the authority of parents who are in the best position to determine when their child's formal education should begin.

A report published February 6, 2007 by the Goldwater Institute examines Stanford 9 test scores and finds Arizona kindergarten programs initially improve learning but have no measurable impact on reading, math, or language arts test scores by 5th grade.

The data show that students in schools with all-day kindergarten programs have statistically significant higher 3rd-grade test scores, but there is no impact on 5th-grade scores. This finding is consistent with previous research. Forcing children into school early delivers short-term benefits at best.

Another significant impact of expanding the compulsory attendance age would be an inevitable tax increase to pay for more classroom space and teachers to accommodate the additional students compelled to attend public schools.

Background:

Lowering the compulsory attendance age from 6 to 5 would subject Hawaii home educators to the requirements of the homeschool statute one year earlier than now required. (You do not need to share this reason with your legislators.)

If Hawaii were to lower the compulsory school attendance age, it would join only eight other states that have their compulsory attendance age that low. Twenty-four states, including Hawaii, have their compulsory attendance age at 6. Sixteen states have it at 7 and two states wait until 8.

According to the 2005 NAEP test scores of children from states that have low compulsory school attendance ages (5–6) did not score any higher than children from the other states, and in some subjects their average was actually lower.

Many education experts have concluded that beginning a child's formal education too early may actually result in burnout and poor scholastic performance later.

Lowering the compulsory attendance age erodes the authority of parents who are in the best position to determine when their child's formal education should begin.

A report published February 6, 2007 by the Goldwater Institute examines Stanford 9 test scores and finds Arizona kindergarten programs initially improve learning but have no measurable impact on reading, math, or language arts test scores by fifth grade.

The data show that students in schools with all-day kindergarten programs have statistically significant higher 3rd-grade test scores, but there is no impact on 5th-grade scores. This finding is consistent with previous research. Forcing children into school early delivers short-term benefits at best.

Another significant impact of expanding the compulsory attendance age would be an inevitable tax increase to pay for more classroom space and teachers to accommodate the additional students compelled to attend public schools.

 Other Resources

House Bill Text

House Bill History

 Other Resources

Senate Bill Text

Senate Bill History