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In 2012, new laws for California's school children

Students may have trouble getting to class once federal trigger cuts slash $38 million from California's school transportation budget.
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California's school children will be affected by a slew of new laws.

At least eight new California laws affect school-age children in one way or another.

One new law compels public schools to include lessons about gay and lesbian historical achievements. Another new law will make it easier for undocumented students in public colleges to apply for financial aid.

Changes are also in the works for the kindergarten cutoff date. Starting next fall, children may enter kindergarten if they’re five years old by Nov. 1, not Dec. 2. It’s part of a phase-in that will set the kindergarten cutoff date on Sept. 1 in fall of 2014. The law also creates a transitional kindergarten for kids caught in between.

The state superintendent of schools backed a new booster seat law. Now children 8 years old and under must use a car seat or booster seat in a car’s rear passenger compartment. If a child older than eight is too small for a seatbelt, that child must use a booster or a car seat. There’s a minimum fine of $475 for breaking this law.