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House Bill 316: Mandatory Kindergarten
Rep. Richard Raymond
Relating to mandatory kindergarten attendance in public schools.
|2/17/2009||(House) Read first time and referred to Education|
Bill died when legislature adjourned June 1, 2009.
No action requested at this time.
According to the 2005 NAEP test scores of children from states that have low compulsory attendance ages (5-6) did not score any higher than children from the other states, and in some subjects their average was actually lower.
Many education experts have concluded that beginning a child’s formal education too early may actually result in burnout and poor scholastic performance later.
Lowering the compulsory attendance age erodes the authority of parents who are in the best position to determine when their child’s formal education should begin.
A report published February 6, 2007 by the Goldwater Institute examines Stanford 9 test scores and finds Arizona kindergarten programs initially improve learning but have no measurable impact on reading, math, or language arts test scores by fifth grade.
The data show that students in schools with all-day kindergarten programs have statistically significant higher 3rd-grade test scores, but there is no impact on 5th-grade scores. This finding is consistent with previous research. Forcing children into school early delivers short-term benefits at best.
Another significant impact of expanding the compulsory attendance age would be an inevitable tax increase to pay for more classroom space and teachers to accommodate the additional students compelled to attend public schools.
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