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Thursday, December 18, 2014         

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Hawaii lawmakers make kindergarten mandatory

By Associated Press

POSTED:
LAST UPDATED: 03:14 p.m. HST, Apr 29, 2014

Dennis oda / doda@staradvertiser.com@Caption1:Only about 28 percent of kids at Kaala Elementary attended preschool, so many are unprepared for kindergarten. Kindergarten students in Gerry Snow's class raise their hands to answer a question.

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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