On Sunday, California Governor Gavin Newsom vetoed Assembly Bill 197 which would have required school districts across the state to offer one full-day kindergarten class.
The bill was introduced by Assemblymember Shirley N. Weber (D-San Diego) and the bill passed out of the State Assembly in a 61-15 vote and the State Senate in a 31-9 vote.
According to the Bill:
This bill would require, commencing with the 2022–23 school year, schools in school districts offering kindergarten and charter schools serving pupils in early primary grades to implement, except as provided, at least 1 full‑day kindergarten program, thereby imposing a state-mandated local program. The bill would provide that a minimum schoolday for full‑day kindergarten is the same number of minutes per schoolday that is offered to pupils in 1st grade, except as provided.
Newsom issued a veto statement saying:
“I am returning Assembly Bill 197 without my signature. This bill requires all elementary schools, as well as all charter schools that offer kindergarten, to offer at least one full-day kindergarten program, commencing with the 2022-2023 school year. Enrollment in full-day kindergarten has grown for more than a decade. Some school districts opt for part-day programs due to facilities constraints. In order to address this limitation, the 2019 Budget Act includes $300 million one-time non-Proposition 98 General Fund specifically for facilities construction designed to expand full-day kindergarten offerings. While I support increased access to full-day kindergarten, I cannot sign this bill as it would impose new costs outside the budget.”
Currently, just 25 percent of school districts are still on half-day schedules