Mandatory Kindergarten in the Peach State?

By: Ben Wolf Email
By: Ben Wolf Email

Under a new bill proposal, it would be mandatory for all Georgia five-year-olds to enroll in kindergarten for at least four and a half hours a day.

"As a teacher I feel like children should start kindergarten as a five-year-old. As a parent, I can see how some parents may feel they want to hold their children back who may not be developmentally ready," said kindergarten teacher Wendy Bohnsen.

Other kindergarten teachers say the bill is 100 percent necessary.

"It would be a positive move for students to have an opportunity to have a school setting where they could have exposure to academics," said kindergarten teacher Nicole Anderson.

Currently, more than 130,000 children attend the optional kindergarten level of instruction in the Peach State.

Some curriculum experts say the kindergarten foundation is essential for success in future grade levels.

"I see the pressure on a third grader to pass the CRCT, which is required by Georgia," said former first grade teacher Darlene Watson.

The bill would require any child turning five by September 1 to enter kindergarten that year.

While some teachers say certain youngsters aren't mature enough to handle the coursework, other teachers say there are immature students at every grade level and kindergarten should not be viewed as an exception.


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