Kindergarten could become mandatory in Louisiana under proposed bill; here’s what’s next

in Baton Rouge Round Up

While many people assume it is already required, Senate Education Committee Chairman Cleo Fields, D-Baton Rouge, has filed legislation that would make kindergarten mandatory in Louisiana.

The proposal, Senate Bill 10, will be debated during the 2021 regular legislative session, which begins April 12.

State law requires school districts to offer kindergarten but attendance is not mandatory.

Fields’ bill would mandate kindergarten for children who turn 5 on or before Sept. 30 of the year when classes begin.

Starting with the 2022-23 school year, children would have to have attended a full-day kindergarten for a school year and passed an academic readiness exam to enter the first grade.

“As Louisiana continues to focus on the improvement of, and access to, early childhood education there has never been a time of more importance to address the issue of kindergarten enrollment,” Fields said in a statement.

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