4/12/12: Mandatory kindergarten bill passes Democrat-controlled committee

April 12, 2012 -- For Immediate Release

Democrats take away parental freedom
Mandatory kindergarten bill passes Democrat-controlled committee

Sacramento, California -- The existing right of parents to decide for themselves whether to send their 5-year-old children to kindergarten would be eliminated by a bill that has passed a Democrat-controlled committee of the California State Assembly.

Yesterday, AB 2203 passed the Assembly Education Committee on a party-line vote -- Democrats in favor of mandating kindergarten for all 5-year-olds, and Republicans voting to allow parents to decide what's best for their young children. There is no parental opt-out in the proposed law. The bill now goes to the Assembly Appropriations Committee.

"Mandatory kindergarten tramples parents' rights by taking away dads' and moms' freedom to raise their children as they see fit," said Randy Thomasson, president of SaveCalifornia.com, which promotes moral virtues for the common good. "This bad idea comes on the heels of another law creating so-called 'transitional kindergarten' for 4-year-olds. It's all part of big government's grand scheme to replace parents by getting control of children's minds at younger ages, and the education bureaucracy sucking up more Average Daily Attendance tax dollars and union dues to increase their political power. The Democrats pushing AB 2203 are being financially foolish. Don't they realize the State of California is broke and can't even afford this?"

Testifying against AB 2203 was Nathan Pierce of Independent Private Schools of California, who said, "Lowering the age at which all children are required to attend school disregards the long-standing presumption that parents understand what is the best course of action for their own children and act in the best interest of their children." Pierce noted that the current Education Code (Section 48000(b)) acknowledges "the advantages and disadvantages...of early admittance."

In 2002, then-Governor Gray Davis, a Democrat, vetoed a similar mandatory kindergarten bill (AB 634). "I am concerned that this bill would unduly restrict a parent's or guardian's education choices for their children," he wrote in his veto message. "I believe parents should retain the right to choose an education program for their 5-year-old children."

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SaveCalifornia.com is a leading West Coast nonprofit, nonpartisan organization standing strong for moral virtues for the common good. We represent children and families in the areas of marriage and family, parental rights, the sanctity of human life, religious freedom, financial freedom, and back-to-basics education.



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