New Hampshire State Representative Victoria Sullivan (R) introduced HB 1499, titled “Relative to the Focus and Components of New Hampshire Kindergartens”, which would mandate play-based kindergartens throughout the state. The bill states, “standards for kindergarten shall be play based and have the following components: movement, expression, exploration, socialization, and music. Literacy shall be developed through guided reading and there shall be unstructured time for the discovery of each child’s individual talents, abilities, and needs.”
The bill is sponsored by fourteen Republican state representatives and zero house Democrats. In a House hearing on January 18, 2018, Representative Sullivan claimed that rigorous standards have changed kindergarten so that it’s more like “first grade lite” which results in “basic life lessons going unlearned.”
There isn’t a clearly stated opposition to HB 1499 at this point, however, skeptics believe this bill masks the true intention which is to subvert the Common Core State Standards for kindergarten. Others are concerned about state government mandating curriculum and intervening in the daily and specific interactions in a classroom.