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CALIFORNIA – Children in California could soon be required to attend kindergarten, as the bill is sent to the governor’s desk.

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According to KTTV, a bill is headed to California Governor Gavin Newsom’s desk that would require children to complete a year of kindergarten before first grade, if Newsom signs it.

The bill was approved by the California state senate Monday evening, according to the Los Angeles Times.

California law currently allows children who are at least 5 years old to have the option to attend kindergarten until they are 6 years old, according to KTTV.

The LA Times said this bill comes after many children skipped kindergarten as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, creating concern for learning gaps.

If the bill gets signed, California would be joining 19 other states that make kindergarten a requirement. The only thing that students can choose is whether to attend public or private kindergarten, according to the LA Times.

KTTV said if the bill gets signed, it would go into effect for the 2024-2025 school year.

The LA Times said this isn’t the first time a similar bill was introduced. It was attempted to have kindergarten mandated in 2014 but former California Governor Jerry Brown vetoed it.