Peggy Williams; Wisconsin Governor signs mandatory kindergarten law; examiner.com; October 10, 2009
Governor Jim Doyle of Wisconsin signed a law requiring school children to attend and complete kindergarten before moving on to first grade. This law includes children who are enrolled in charter schools. This new law will take effect in the 2011-2012 school year.
Prior to this new law, Wisconsin law required that all children begin school at age 6, and kindergarten was optional.
According to an Associated Press report, this new law will only affect a small number of children. Only about 1/3 of 1% of Wisconsin’s first graders do not attend kindergarten, which equates to approximately 117 each year.
This new law is based off of the research of the Education Commission of the States report that states that early experiences in a child’s life have a profound impact on their cognitive, social, emotional, and physical success. Quality learning programs early in life will provide a stronger basis for these developmental areas.