Mandatory kindergarten nears final approval, ‘It just makes sense’

A Senate-passed bill that would make kindergarten mandatory neared final approval Thursday when the Louisiana House approved it 59-31.

The proposal, Senate Bill 10, now returns to the Senate for consideration of one change. It earlier won approval in the upper chamber 34-1.

“It just makes sense because it is good for our children and because it is good for our state,” said Rep. Jason Hughes, D-New Orleans and House sponsor of the legislation.

Similar efforts have failed in the Legislature at least three times since 2005. Current law requires all 69 school districts to offer kindergarten but attendance is not mandatory.

Under the original measure, children who turn five years old by Sept. 30 would be required to attend kindergarten starting with the 2022-23 school year. That was changed during House debate to apply to children who turn five years of age by March 31 of the calendar year when school begins.

Senate Education Committee Chairman Cleo Fields, D-Baton Rouge, can either accept the lone House change and seek final Senate approval or request a House-Senate negotiating committee to hammer out the differences.

The session has to end by June 10 at 6 p.m.

Families would have a wide range of options on how to meet the new rules, including… Continue Reading Full Story >>>

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