Runner's Education Bills Make A Breakthrough In Committee
Assemblywoman’s Bill Will Change Kindergarten Entrance Age
Three out of three of Assemblywoman Sharon Runner’s (R-Antelope Valley) bills passed unanimously last night in the Assembly Education Committee. Each one targeted specific education concerns and addressed the needs of both students and the education community. “Education has been one of my top priorities since I have come to the Assembly,” Runner said. “I have been working on legislation to change the kindergarten age for nearly four years now. This change is long overdue.” Runner’s kindergarten bill, AB 2596 passed unanimously in the Education Committee. The bill changes the date by which a child must be 5 years old before they start kindergarten. Because kindergarten has become increasing academic, setting a September 1st cut off date better prepares children for the rigors of kindergarten and beyond. By working closely with the education community, Runner was able to garner support from both the California Teacher’s Association and the California Federation of Teachers, the two most powerful teacher’s interest groups. The Assemblywoman also passed a vital bill for the children of Vasquez High School. AB 2410 allows the Vasquez High School students to use an already existing gym while it goes through the lengthy process of certification by the Department of the State Architect. Without this gym, student sports have been outsourced to the neighboring High Desert School. By the end of the day, the bill passed the Education Committee with bi-partisan support.
“It seems absurd that the gym was used for student groups after school, but that during school hours, it was inaccessible,” Runner pointed out. “Leaving our children in 100 degree heat in the summer and snow in the winter because of a bureaucratic stranglehold is simply unfair.” Runner also passed a third bill through the committee. AB 2834 gives more flexibility to the Department of Toxic Substances Control and speeds up lengthy the school construction process. All three of Runner’s bills will be heard on the Assembly Floor in the weeks to come. After that, they will move to the Senate and then to the Governor for signature.