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Pennsylvania State Senate
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Senate Co-Sponsorship Memoranda

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Senate of Pennsylvania
Session of 2015 - 2016 Regular Session


Posted: April 21, 2015 12:48 PM
From: Senator Andrew E. Dinniman
To: All Senate members
Subject: Compulsory Enrollment Age
I plan to introduce legislation that will amend the Public School Code of 1949 to lower the age which a child must enter school from the age of eight to the age of five.

Pennsylvania is one of only two states that delay the requirement to attend school until the age of eight. Early childhood education efforts have a key role in building the necessary foundation to a child’s ability to succeed later in life.

Passage of my bill is a necessary legislative step to assure that all children in the Commonwealth are provided access to early learning and development before the age of eight. For Pennsylvania to continue to follow a law in the School Code that says the beginning of a child’s educational pursuit can begin at age eight clearly sends the wrong message in terms of the importance of early childhood education and in the State’s commitment to economic development.

While the school districts in PA have at least half day kindergarten, it is potentially possible based on the School Code for districts who are in economic meltdown which is occurring in a number of our districts to end K-2 (age 5-7). This would have tragic consequences for so many of our children in the poorest districts who are in need of education opportunities and a good start in school.

I hope you will join me in co-sponsoring this important legislation.

Introduced as SB829