Newsom Vetoes Full Day and Mandatory Kindergarten

Gov. Gavin Newsom has vetoed a bill to make kindergarten mandatory for all students, citing its $268 million-per-year price tag. He has also vetoed a bill that would have extended the school day for kindergartners.

Senate Bill 70 was authored by State Sen. Susan Rubio (D-Baldwin Park) and would have taken effect during the 2024-25 school year. All students would have been required to complete kindergarten before entering the first grade.

Under Assembly Bill 1973, authored by Kevin McCarty (D-Sacramento), elementary schools would have had to offer at least one full-day of kindergarten class by 2030-31. 

“With our state facing lower-than-expected revenues over the first few months of this fiscal year, it is important to remain disciplined when it comes to spending, particularly spending that is ongoing,” Newsom explained in vetoing Senate Bill 70. “We must prioritize existing obligations and priorities, including education, healthcare, public safety and safety-net programs.”

In his veto message for Assembly Bill 1973, Newsom wrote:  

“I appreciate the author's intent and his advocacy for early education, however, this bill will create ongoing and one-time costs in the hundreds of millions of dollars to support school facilities and operational costs. With our state facing lower-than-expected revenues over the first few months of this fiscal year, it is important to remain disciplined when it comes to spending, particularly spending that is ongoing. We must prioritize existing obligations and priorities, including education, health care, public safety and safety-net programs.”

Newsom has cited declining revenue in a number of recent vetoes. According to the California Department of Finance, August revenue was 6% below projections. There is worry that an economic downturn is looming in the Golden State. 


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K-12

Tuesday, November 22, 2022 - 06:30

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