Senate Bill 2768: Mandatory Kindergarten, Lowers Compulsory Attendance Age


Last Updated: May 2, 2014
Senate Bill 2768: Mandatory Kindergarten, Lowers Compulsory Attendance Age
Tokuda, Baker, Chun, Oakland, Dela Cruz, English, Espero, Galuteria, Green, Keith-Agaran, Kidani, Kim, Ruderman, Solomon, Hee, Ige, Kahele, Kouchi, Nishihara, Taniguchi, Wakai

Senate Bill 2768 requires a child who turns 5 years old by July 31 to attend kindergarten.

HSLDA's Position:

HSLDA is opposed to lowering the compulsory attendance age.

Action Requested:
None at this time

01/23/2014     Senate     Introduced and referred to the Education Committee and Ways and Means.
01/24/2014     Senate     Education Committee has scheduled a public hearing on January 29, 2014 at 1:30 p.m. in conference room 414.
01/29/2014     Senate     Education Committee recommends that the measure be passed with amendments.
02/13/2014     Senate     Reported from Education Committee; Passed Second Reading, as amended, and referred to Committee on Ways and Means.
02/14/2014     Senate     The Committee on Senate Ways and Means will hold a public decision-making on February 19, 2014, at 9:25 a.m. in Conference Room 211.
02/19/2014     Senate     Committee on Senate Ways and Means recommends that the measure be passed with amendments.
02/28/2014     Senate     Notice of third reading in 48 hours, on March 4, 2014.
03/04/2014     Senate     Passed third reading as amended. Transmitted to House.
03/04/2014     House     Received from Senate.
03/06/2014     House     Passed first reading.
03/07/2014     House     Referred to House Education, House Finance Committees.
03/11/2014     House     Bill scheduled to be heard by House Education on Friday, March 14, 2014, at 2 p.m. in House Conference Room 309.
03/14/2014     House     The Committee on House Education recommends the measure be passed with amendments.
03/19/2014     House     Reported from House Education Committee as amended; Passed second reading as amended and referred to the committees on House Finance.
03/25/2014     House     Scheduled to be heard by House Finance on Friday, March 28, 2014, at 3:00 House Conference Room 308.
03/28/2014     House     The Committee on House Finance recommended the measure be passed, with amendments.
04/4/2014     House     The Committee on House Finance reports as amended in HD 2, recommending passage on Third Reading.
04/8/2014     House     Passed Third Reading as amended in HD 2; transmitted to Senate.
04/10/2014     Senate     Senate disagrees with House amendments
04/14/2014     Senate     Conference committee meeting scheduled for April 16, 2014, at 2:15 in Conference Room 329.
04/16/2014     Senate     Conference committee meeting will reconvene on Monday, April 21, 2014, at 2:00 p.m. in Conference Room 329.
04/21/2014     Senate     Conference committee meeting will reconvene on Tuesday, April 22, 2014, at 2:00 p.m. in Conference Room 329.
04/22/2014     Senate     Reported from conference committee as amended CD 1. Forty-eight hours notice Friday, April 25, 2014.
04/25/2014     Senate     Passed final reading as amended.
04/25/2014     House     Received notice of final reading.
04/29/2014     House     Passed final reading.
04/30/2014     Senate     Enrolled to Governor.
05/02/2014     Senate     Signed by the Governor.


Lowering the compulsory attendance age from 6 to 5 would subject Hawaii home educators to the requirements of the homeschool statute one year earlier than now required. (You do not need to share this reason with your legislators.)

If Hawaii were to lower the compulsory school attendance age, it would join only eight other states that have their compulsory attendance age that low. Twenty-four states, including Hawaii, have their compulsory attendance age at 6. Sixteen states have it at 7 and two states wait until 8.

According to the 2005 NAEP test scores of children from states that have low compulsory school attendance ages (5–6) did not score any higher than children from the other states, and in some subjects their average was actually lower.

Many education experts have concluded that beginning a child's formal education too early may actually result in burnout and poor scholastic performance later.

Lowering the compulsory attendance age erodes the authority of parents who are in the best position to determine when their child's formal education should begin.

A report published February 6, 2007 by the Goldwater Institute examines Stanford 9 test scores and finds Arizona kindergarten programs initially improve learning but have no measurable impact on reading, math, or language arts test scores by fifth grade.

The data show that students in schools with all-day kindergarten programs have statistically significant higher 3rd-grade test scores, but there is no impact on 5th-grade scores. This finding is consistent with previous research. Forcing children into school early delivers short-term benefits at best.

Another significant impact of expanding the compulsory attendance age would be an inevitable tax increase to pay for more classroom space and teachers to accommodate the additional students compelled to attend public schools.

 Other Resources

Bill Text

Bill History

Conference Committee Report No. 4-14 of April 23, 2014,

Original Text

First Amendment