Kindergarten A Must For 5-year-olds

Gov. Andrew Cuomo signed into law last week legislation that requires all 5-year-olds in New York City to attend kindergarten.

Formerly, city children were not required to attend school until the age of six, often times bypassing kindergarten all together.

Private school or home-schooled children are exempt from the law.

The signing of the bill does not however immediately render this measure effective. According to a spokesperson for City Council Speaker Christine Quinn, it is now up to the Department of Education (DOE) to actually change the compulsory age, but in order to do so, they first needed the state to pass a law.

The spokesperson said they do not foresee any road blocks as both Mayor Bloomberg and the DOE have expressed their support of the law, which could go into effect for the 2013-14 school year.

“We applaud Governor Cuomo for signing mandatory Kindergarten legislation and empha- sizing his commitment to early childhood education, said Quinn,in a joint statement. “By giving New York City the authority to lower the compulsory age of schooling to age five, we are taking a significant step towards closing the achievement gap. Experts agree that the most vulnerable New Yorkers will be helped by ensuring that every New York City child starts school at age five.”

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