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Mackinac Center for Public Policy
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2011 Senate Bill 315: Require kindergartners be 5 on Sept. 1
  1. Introduced by Sen. Darwin Booher (R) on April 12, 2011, to require children to be age 5 on Sept. 1 to attend kindergarten, rather than by Dec. 1 under current law. The bill would also establish procedures for allowing a child who is less than age 5 on the new date to still start kindergarten, including a skills level assessment test. Note: School districts get extra money from the state for every kindergartner they enroll.
    • Referred to the Senate Education Committee on April 12, 2011.
      • Reported in the Senate on March 15, 2012, with the recommendation that the substitute (S-3) be adopted and that the bill then pass.
    • Substitute offered in the Senate on May 1, 2012. The substitute passed by voice vote in the Senate on May 1, 2012.
    • Substitute offered by Sen. Mike Nofs (R) on May 3, 2012, to replace the previous version of the bill with one that lets a child who would have been eligible under the current requirements to still attend if the parents "opt in" by notifying the school by June 1. The substitute passed by voice vote in the Senate on May 3, 2012.
    • Amendment offered by Sen. Darwin Booher (R) on May 3, 2012, to revise a wording detail in the proposed parent "opt out" provision. The amendment passed by voice vote in the Senate on May 3, 2012.
  2. Passed 38 to 0 in the Senate on May 3, 2012, to require children to be age 5 by Sept. 1 to attend kindergarten, rather than by Dec. 1 under current law. This earlier age cut-off would be phased in one month at a time over three years, starting in 2013. A child who would have been eligible under the current requirements could still attend if the parents "opt in" by notifying the school by June 1. The phase-in was negotiated because school districts get money from the state for each kindergartner, whose numbers would be reduced during the transition period.
    Who Voted "Yes" and Who Voted "No"

  3. Received in the House on May 3, 2012.
    • Referred to the House Education Committee on May 3, 2012.

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