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AB 713 Mandatory Kindergarten – Call to Action

In a joint telephone conference with CHN (represented by Karen Taylor and Martin Forte), HSC, CHEA, HSLDA and FPM the conclusion was that this bill will pass and go to the Governor for his signature.  The timing is unknown but it most likely will be sooner than later.

Our consensus was to suggest to our memberships that a “Letter” writing campaign be initiated immediately asking the Governor to Veto this legislation.  It is very important to write this letter from a parental perspective, not a homeschool position since this affects all students universally.

In this case the recommendation is a letter, not an email.

Included below are some great talking points developed by Family Protection Ministries and HSLDA.  Take a look at them and determine which of the points below you would like to use.

Mail your letter to:

Governor Jerry Brown
c/o State Capital, Suite 1173
Sacramento, CA 95814

Summary of Concern:

Under current law, parents can choose to have their child skip kindergarten and begin at the 1st grade.  AB 713 would eliminate this current parental choice by mandating that every child attend kindergarten for one school year before they could be admitted to the first grade.  This would go into effect at the beginning of the 2017-2018 school year. AB 713 is an incremental step toward lowering the compulsory school age and expanding government control over children from birth to adulthood.

Opposition Points:

AB 713 would damage children.  Beginning formal education at age 5 or younger causes unintended harmful consequences to children, some of which last a lifetime.  Research* indicates that early formal childhood education not only causes both physical and behavioral long-term problems but that it also does not improve the child’s potential for being a better student later on.

Research http://www.childandfamilyprotection.org/Early-Childhood-Education-Research-Summaries.html demonstrates that:

Gains experienced by children who began their formal education at age 5 (or younger) disappear in just a few years. 

These same children, however, experience long-lasting adverse effects on their physical, behavioral, and educational development, including life-long vision impairment, and for many, detriments to mathematics and nonacademic readiness skills.

Boys are especially damaged by early entrance (age 5 and younger) into formal education. Boys’ cognitive and verbal skill development significantly lags behind that of girls at this age. As a result, boys do not do as well in the early years, at which time many experience failures leading to frustration, and for some, substance abuse and later criminal behavior.

For the sake of your own children, every parent should read “Early Childhood Education: Research Summaries of the Effects of Universal Kindergarten” Updated 2014 at http://www.childandfamilyprotection.org/Early-Childhood-Education-Research-Summaries.html.

AB 713 would diminish the parental rights of all parents.  Under AB 713, parents who choose to delay their child’s entrance into kindergarten would be forced to undergo a time and financial penalty of adding a year of required schooling before graduation.  Enrollment into kindergarten prior to the first grade must remain optional for parents.

AB 713 would decrease beneficial parental contact with their children.  An extra year of development outside of school can be critical for a child at this early age.  Carl Zinsmeister, Adjunct Research Associate at the American Enterprise Institute for Public Policy Research, says, “Declining parental attachment is an extremely serious risk to children today.  The verdict of enormous psychological literature is that time spent with the parent is the very clearest correlate of healthy child development.”  Parents should continue to have the authority to decide what is best for their children.

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BACKGROUND

Under AB 713, parents who would have chosen to delay their child’s entrance into formal education and skip kindergarten, would be forced to choose between either:

(a) starting their child’s formal education one year earlier, before they feel it is best for their child, or
(b) graduating their child a year later than they would under current law.

This is because 13 years of schooling would be required under AB 713 rather than the current 12 years of schooling.

The requirements of AB 713 would apply to all pupils in both public schools and in private schools, including homeschools.

Advocates of extending government control of all children from birth would be able to use passage of AB 713 as an incremental step toward establishing seamless, cradle-to-grave government-controlled education and development programs for all children.

Passage of AB 713 would be followed by the next incremental legislative step — making institutionalized preschool (pre-kindergarten) for every 3 and 4 year-old child universally available to all children and then the next step – making it universally mandatory for every 3 and 4 year-old child.

SUMMARY:

*   Rushing children into formal education by effectively lowering the age at which children begin formal education by mandating Kindergarten would exact a heavy toll on the development of many children and would weaken the role of parents in their lives.  This is diametrically opposed to the message parents are routinely given, that parents need to be more involved in their children’s lives.  However, parents cannot be more involved when the state either encourages or requires children to be with their parents for less time.  Research supports later rather than earlier entry of children into institutionalized settings for educational development to be the most beneficial.

*   AB 713 encroaches on the fundamental right of parents to direct the upbringing and education of their children.  It ignores the long-standing presumption that parents act in the best interest of their children, by requiring parents to enroll their children in Kindergarten rather than allowing them the choice specified in current law.  It disregards the parent’s understanding of what would be the best course of action for his own child’s education and development.  It is a detrimental one-size-fits-all mandate that would be forced upon all children by the government.

CHN Legislative Committee

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California Homeschool Network is a statewide grassroots organization dedicated to protecting the fundamental right of parents to educate their children. Our website provides information about CHN, current state and federal legislation affecting homeschooling families, and how to get started educating your children at home.

California law requires that all children between the ages of 6 and 18 attend a public full-time day school unless they are exempted. Understanding your options and abiding by the law will help you avoid truancy.

To learn more about homeschooling, visit our How to Homeschool page! You will find a wealth of information there, including Frequently Asked Questions, info on record-keeping, preschool, high school, and so much more! If you need assistance, feel free to contact CHN.


 

California Legislation

AB 713:  Mandatory Kindergarten

CHN strongly opposes this bill.  Click here for current updates, analysis, and more information.

SB 277:  Elimination of Personal Belief Exemption for Immunizations

CHN strongly opposed this bill which has now been signed into law.  Click here for analysis of how this bill will affect you.

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