Proposed bill could require children to start school earlier

Local News

PEORIA, Ill., Going to kindergarten is a big milestone in a child’s life. Some state lawmakers want children to reach that milestone sooner rather than later.  

“When you start a child earlier and give them you know the training and the skills to be able to read…it shows that later on the graduation rates are better,” Illinois State Senator Dave Koehler. 

Legislators proposed a bill that would require children to start kindergarten at age five instead of six, but not all Central Illinois lawmakers agree.

“I think that should be a parent’s decision,” Illinois State Senator Chuck Weaver said. “If it’s something the parent believes that child is prepared at five to be in the classroom getting started, that’s a decision they can make.” 

Weaver has also talked to teachers about their position on the bill. 

“…They can see that distinction of starting a child too soon is something that’s not advantageous to the child and understand parents wanting to delay that start,” he said. 

“I know that there’s an issue of taking away some of the parental choice in that and I understand that,” Koehler said. 

While some disagree with the proposed law, others say it’s a good idea.

“The younger they are, their minds are like sponges and they can grasp things easier at that young age like that,” a parent, Deon Jackson said. 

“I really think that children should go early to kindergarten because that way it gives them more time,” Peoria resident, Casey Rost said. 

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