All-Day Kindergarten Could Soon Be Mandated by Law

California Assemblywoman Shirley Weber (D-San Diego) has introduced a bill requiring all school districts in the state to offer full-day kindergarten by the 2021-2022 school year.

Currently, 25% of districts offer only half-day kindergarten schedules. Under AB 197, they would have to extend K hours to more than four to “the same number of minutes per school day that is offered to pupils in first grade.”

The bill also calls for making full-day kindergarten a priority for districts and for districts to identify or reserve classroom space for full-day kindergarten programs.

Critics have expressed concerns that AB 197 could interfere with parents’ choices over how many hours their young children attend school. The California Department of Education has yet to provide an opinion on the matter