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Hawaii lawmakers make kindergarten mandatory

  • Dennis oda / doda@staradvertiser.com

    Dennis oda / doda@staradvertiser.com

Hawaii lawmakers are making kindergarten mandatory for children starting in the fall.

The House approved a bill Tuesday (SB 2768) that compels children who turn 5 years old before July 31 of a school year to attend kindergarten.

Supporters say kindergarten is key toward getting children on the right track toward later success in education and society.

Opponents say there aren’t enough qualified kindergarten teachers in Hawaii to meet the demand the bill will create.

The Senate passed the measure last week with only Republican Sen. Sam Slom voting no.

Gov. Neil Abercrombie has pressed repeatedly for more early education programs, targeting children even earlier during preschool.

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