Connecticut Seal

General Assembly

 

Raised Bill No. 877

January Session, 2013

 

LCO No. 3077

 

*03077_______ED_*

Referred to Committee on EDUCATION

 

Introduced by:

 

(ED)

 

AN ACT CONCERNING THE ENTRANCE AGE FOR WHEN A CHILD MAY ENTER KINDERGARTEN.

Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives in General Assembly convened:

Section 1. Section 10-15c of the general statutes is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof (Effective July 1, 2013):

(a) The public schools shall be open to all children five years of age and over who (1) for the school year commencing July 1, 2013, reach age five on or before the first day of January of [any] such school year, [and each] (2) for the school year commencing July 1, 2014, reach age five on or before the first day of December of such school year, (3) for the school year commencing July 1, 2015, reach age five on or before the first day of November of such school year, and (4) for the school year commencing July 1, 2016, and each school year thereafter, reach age five on or before the first day of October of such school year. Each such child shall have, and shall be so advised by the appropriate school authorities, an equal opportunity to participate in the activities, programs and courses of study offered in such public schools, at such time as the child becomes eligible to participate in such activities, programs and courses of study, without discrimination on account of race, color, sex, gender identity or expression, religion, national origin or sexual orientation. [; provided boards] A local or regional board of education may, by vote at a meeting duly called, [admit to] enroll a child under five years of age in any school [children under five years of age] under its jurisdiction.

(b) Nothing in subsection (a) of this section shall be deemed to amend other provisions of the general statutes with respect to curricula, facilities or extracurricular activities.

Sec. 2. Section 10-184 of the general statutes is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof (Effective July 1, 2013):

All parents and those who have the care of children shall bring them up in some lawful and honest employment and instruct them or cause them to be instructed in reading, writing, spelling, English grammar, geography, arithmetic and United States history and in citizenship, including a study of the town, state and federal governments. Subject to the provisions of this section and section 10-15c, each parent or other person having control of a child five years of age and over and under eighteen years of age shall cause such child to attend a public school regularly during the hours and terms the public school in the district in which such child resides is in session, unless such child is a high school graduate or the parent or person having control of such child is able to show that the child is elsewhere receiving equivalent instruction in the studies taught in the public schools. For the school year commencing July 1, 2011, and each school year thereafter, the parent or person having control of a child seventeen years of age may consent, as provided in this section, to such child's withdrawal from school. Such parent or person shall personally appear at the school district office and sign a withdrawal form. Such withdrawal form shall include an attestation from a guidance counselor or school administrator of the school that such school district has provided such parent or person with information on the educational options available in the school system and in the community. The parent or person having control of a child five years of age shall have the option of not sending the child to school until the child is six years of age and the parent or person having control of a child six years of age shall [have the option of not sending the] not be required to send the child to school until the child is seven years of age if (1) a physician certifies that the child should not attend school until age seven, or (2) the child has been identified as having a developmental delay, as defined in section 10-76a. The parent or person shall exercise such option by personally appearing at the school district office and signing an option form. The school district shall provide the parent or person with information on the educational opportunities available in the school system.

Sec. 3. (Effective from passage) The Commissioner of Education, in consultation with the planning director for the coordinated system of early care and education and child development pursuant to section 10-16cc of the general statutes, shall develop a plan for (1) implementing the changes to the requirement of when a child five years of age may enroll in kindergarten pursuant to section 10-15c of the general statutes, as amended by this act, and (2) providing spaces in school readiness programs to those children who reach five years of age after the date prescribed in said section 10-15c of any school year and are no longer eligible to enroll in kindergarten for such school year. Not later than October 1, 2013, the commissioner shall submit such plan to the joint standing committee of the General Assembly having cognizance of matters relating to education, in accordance with the provisions of section 11-4a of the general statutes.

This act shall take effect as follows and shall amend the following sections:

Section 1

July 1, 2013

10-15c

Sec. 2

July 1, 2013

10-184

Sec. 3

from passage

New section

Statement of Purpose:

To phase in the cut-off date for when a child must turn five years of age in order to enroll in kindergarten for such school year, to limit the circumstances in which a parent may withhold enrolling their child in kindergarten until the child is seven years old and to require the Commissioner of Education to develop a plan for children who cannot enter kindergarten due to changes in the entrance age requirement to attend school readiness programs.

[Proposed deletions are enclosed in brackets. Proposed additions are indicated by underline, except that when the entire text of a bill or resolution or a section of a bill or resolution is new, it is not underlined.]