Mandatory Kindergarten Passes in Louisiana Senate
The proposed bill to make kindergarten mandatory in Louisiana passed in the Senate with little opposition and is now headed to Governor Edwards for approval.
Louisiana lawmakers have attempted this battle before and failed. Their reasoning is that making kindergarten mandatory would join the current state efforts of early education projects and help Louisiana get out of the bottom of most public school achievement scores. A report last year said only 43% of kindergarten students were reading on grade level, 54% of first graders, 56% of second graders, and 53% of third graders.
The proposed bill passed this time with little opposition with a 34-1 vote in the Louisiana Senate. Currently, Louisiana children of the ages seven to 18 must attended school unless they graduate early from high school. If the bill is approved by Governor Edwards, it will require children who turn five years old by September 30 to attend kindergarten starting next year with the 2022-2023 school year.
Supporters of the bill say 90% of a human's brain development happens from the ages of birth to five. The bill's opponents argued that they believed it's a parent's right to decide whether or not their child attends kindergarten.
The bill is expected to be approved by Governor Edwards and become law in Louisiana.