Required School Enrollment:
Cutoff Date Changing in 2012-15 School Years
Updated August 2012
SB 1381, a good bill that we supported, was signed into law in 2010. SB 1381 specifies the date of a child’s required entrance into school.
This bill is a positive change in the law. It gives children going to a campus-based school more time with their parents before being sent to school. For homeschoolers, the only change will be the school year in which they must start filing a Private School Affidavit if the 6 yr-old is the first child being homeschooled. If there is an older sibling being homeschooled, then the 6 yr-old will need to be added to the number being taught in your home school when you file your affidavit.
The date for determining if a 6-year-old is required to be enrolled in school in any given school year is based on the date of the child's 6th birthday.
By way of background, California law states, "Each person between the ages of 6 and 18 years … is subject to compulsory full-time education." (EC §48200) SB 1381 did not change this. In other words, SB 1381 did not lower the age (i.e. 6 years) by which children are required to be enrolled in school. Also, current law does not require children to be enrolled in kindergarten.
A child who turns 6 years of age on or before November 1, 2012 must be enrolled in a school (or be taught by a tutor who is a certified teacher) for this 2012-2013 school year. Formerly it was December 1st. This date will be incrementally moved earlier in the year according to the following 3-year schedule:
- The cutoff date will be November 1, 2012 for the 2012–13 school year.
- The cutoff date will be October 1, 2013 for the 2013–14 school year.
- The cutoff date finally will be September 1, 2014 for the 2014–15 school year – and each school year from then on.
In other words, if a child's 6th birthday is on or before November 1 in 2012, that child is required to be enrolled in a school this fall. However, if a child's 6th birthday is on or after November 2, 2012, that child does not have to be enrolled in school until the fall of 2013. The net positive effect of this new law is to allow more time for a child to be developing in the care of loving parents at home before being required to begin their formal education. Research shows that the older a child is before formal education begins, the better the child is likely to do throughout their formal education.
Please see our summary of documented research supporting the delay of formal education (i.e., “seat work” requiring close eye work for using computer devices and reading books, etc.) at http://www.childandfamilyprotection.org/eceissuesbgca.html.
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