LANSING (WWJ) – No more AM and PM groups. If one Michigan lawmaker gets his way, kindergartners would be in school all day long.
Tests have proven that children learn at a quicker pace the earlier their education starts and because of that, state Representative Bill Sowerby wants Michigan to require full-day kindergarten. As it stands right now, kindergarten is not mandatory in the state — half-day or otherwise.
“People are surprised when they learn that mandatory kindergarten is not part of curriculum in schools here in Michigan,” Sowerby said. “They’re very surprised, and they understand the importance of early education.”
Sowerby’s bill would require a school district to offer full-day kindergarten just as they do for other grade levels, and a parent or guardian must ensure that their child is attending kindergarten. If a child is 5-years-old on or before September 1, the child will begin kindergarten that school year. If a child turns five after September 1, the child will begin kindergarten the next school year.
Sowerby says it’s all about setting students up for success in the future.
“What with the fact that the state now has mandatory third grade reading requirements, this will certainly help to be able to meet that requirement for the third grade,” he said.
Sowerby said kindergarten is important for children because it prepares students to succeed in the first grade and beyond by introducing them to subjects like math, preparing them to be good readers, and developing their interpersonal and social skills.
Currently, 15 states and the District of Columbia require all day kindergarten.