On October 1st Governor Schwarzenegger signed SB 1381 into law with a 2 year delay, and will come into effect over 3 years starting the 2012-2013 academic school year. SB 1381 changes the kindergarten admissions cut off date from being Dec 2 now to September 1.
Children born between Sept 1-Dec 2 affected by this change are to be offered transitional kindergarten, and, the provision to apply to the school district for early admission (outside of birthday cutoff) has been preserved but still requires parents/guardians to apply and then the school district to agree that it is in the best interest of the child to attend kindergarten vs wait.
SB 1381 has economic benefit both short and perhaps longer term and aims at giving low-income family children or English learner children a better opportunity for a better educational foundation. On the short term it takes the required school budget for the 100,000 children who will wait to enter kindergarten later and shift it to following years. Also, studies have indicated that there will be a lower drop out rate and reduced need for special education and other perhaps related programs. SB 1381 is deemed to not have significant negative impact on other socio-economic groups of children. SB 1381 now puts California in line with most other states in the US who already have a September 1st cutoff date for Kindergarten entry .
For any one who would like to read, here's a link for a copy of SB 1381 that Senator Simitian sent for signature by Gov. Schwarzenegger (after the bill was approved, unopposed):
(Thanks to an NMC Mom for sharing this information!)