Gov. John Bel Edwards on Monday signed a bill that will make kindergarten mandatory in Louisiana.
The measure, Senate Bill 10, won Senate approval 38-0 and cleared the House 70-32.
Backers said the new requirement will help improve classroom performance by ensuring all young children are learning at an early age.
Under the law, youngsters who turn 5 by Sept. 30 will be required to attend kindergarten.
The parents of children who are 4 on the first day of school can decide to hold their children back a year and enroll them in kindergarten the following school year. There is also an exception for children enrolled in a prekindergarten program.
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Families can comply with state law by home schooling their children in kindergarten.
The law takes effect for the 2022-23 school year.
The measure was sponsored by Senate Education Committee Chairman Cleo Fields, D-Baton Rouge.
Fields is holding press conference at public schools in Baton Rouge and elsewhere on Tuesday to call attention to the change.