Senators back mandatory kindergarten bill for Louisiana

Louisiana Politics

Pre-kindergarten students listen as their teacher reads a story at Dawes Elementary in Chicago, Monday, Jan. 11, 2021. Chicago Public Schools students began their return to the classroom Monday as school doors opened to thousands of pre-kindergarten and some special education students after going remote last March due to the coronavirus pandemic. (Ashlee Rezin Garcia/Chicago Sun-Times via AP, Pool)

BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) — Louisiana would make kindergarten mandatory if lawmakers agree to a bill that won support from a Senate committee.

The proposal from Senate Education Chairman Cleo Fields would require children who turn 5 years old by Sept. 30 of each year to attend kindergarten, starting with the 2022-23 school year.

Children in Louisiana currently are required to attend school from the ages of 7 to 18, unless they graduate early from high school.

The education committee approved the bill on a 5-1 vote. The measure likely will be diverted to a second review from the Senate budget committee before it could reach the full Senate for debate.

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