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Senate of Pennsylvania
Session of 2019 - 2020 Regular Session


Posted: January 24, 2019 04:50 PM
From: Senator Andrew E. Dinniman
To: All Senate members
Subject: Compulsory Enrollment Age
I plan to reintroduce last session’s SB 1184, 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. Frankly, it is time to end the embarrassment of Pennsylvania being one of the only states that delay the requirement to attend school until the age of eight.

Passage of this 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 most school districts in PA have at least half day kindergarten, it is potentially possible based on the School Code as it is now written, for districts who are in economic meltdown, to end K-2 (age 5-7).

I hope you will join me in sponsoring this bill and affirming our recognition of the importance of early childhood education.

Introduced as SB278