Kindergarten mandatory for 5-year-olds under new law

Hawaii children must attend kindergarten, according to a new law signed by the governor Thursday.

The law says kindergarten is mandatory for any child who is at least five years old on or before July 31 of the school year, unless otherwise exempt.

Related Link: Read SB2768 in its entirety.

Supporters say kindergarten sets children on a path toward later success in education.

“Hawaii has a statewide goal of ’55 by 25,’ which is that 55 percent of working age adults would have a college degree by the year 2025,” said Hawaii P-20 Partnerships for Education executive director Karen Lee. “In order for our students to be prepared for a college degree, they need to have the building blocks of success so they can be ready for their next phase of education.”

State Dept. of Education superintendent Kathryn Matayoshi, Executive Office on Early Learning director GG Weisenfeld, Sen. Jill Tokuda and Rep. Takashi Ohno were also on hand for Thursday’s signing.

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