By Howard Blume
No grade level suffered a steeper enrollment drop during the COVID-19 pandemic than kindergarten, driven by what many parents saw as the futility of placing a 5-year-old in front of a computer all day.
When campuses reopened, enrollment somewhat rebounded, but an overall downward trend deeply worried educators, knowing the harm that missing kindergarten can mean for a child’s development.
For that reason, many expressed disappointment that Gov. Gavin Newsom on Sunday took a step back from a historic expansion of early education by vetoing one bill that would have made kindergarten mandatory and a second bill that would have required school systems to offer a full-day kindergarten.