SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (WEEK) — Illinois kids could soon be required to start school at age 5 under a new piece of legislation moving through the state Senate.
State Sen. Kimberly Lightford (D-Maywood) is sponsoring Senate Bill 2075. The bill would lower the compulsory school age from 6 to 5 in Illinois. The bill passed out of committee earlier this week.
“It is vital for students to be in the classroom, especially at an early age,” Lightford said. “This measure allows us to make a strong impact in the lives of our children and increases opportunities for those who come from underprivileged communities.”
Lightford said she hopes will bill helps crack down on chronic absenteeism by establishing good school attendance habits at a young age. About 1 in 6 students in Illinois missed at least 17 days of class during the 2017-18 school year.
The bill now heads to the full Senate.