Some want to change age for starting kindergarten - WSMV Channel 4

Some want to change age for starting kindergarten

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NASHVILLE, TN (WSMV) -

For years, parents and teachers have debated over the best age to start kids in kindergarten.

Now, some state lawmakers say too many children are in school before they're ready and changing the birthday cut-off could help.

Under state law, a child has to turn five by Sept. 30 in order to start kindergarten. But with some school years starting as early as July, state lawmakers say teachers are telling them the four-year-olds are often times not ready.

"They felt like the young people that enter school before they are five just aren't ready developmentally, academically or socially to start school," said State Rep. Glen Casada, R-College Grove.

That's why Casada has introduced a bill to push up the cutoff birthday to July 31. If it passes, if your child isn't five by the end of July, they will have to wait another year to go into kindergarten.

Casada says he hopes this will close the maturity gap.

"In some cases it won't, but in the majority of cases based on what I hear from my teachers, it makes a big difference," he said.

This isn't the first time lawmakers have brought up the kindergarten age issue. A similar bill was considered five years ago that would have changed that cut-off date to July 1, but it did not pass.

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