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At What Age Should Kids Be Required to Start School?

Jill Devine

In an attempt to reduce the high school dropout rate, Nevada is considering a law to require little kids to start school at the age of 6.

The legislation has little chance of passage. “If you’re really concerned about kids dropping out, I don’t think making kindergarten mandatory is really the heart of the issue,” bill opponent Maggie England tells the AP. Current Nevada law sets the age minimum at 7, which is actually younger than in Washington and Pennsylvania, where kids aren’t required to attend school until they’re 8.

Honestly, I didn’t know there was a law on when children had to attend school.  I decided to take a look at Missouri’s law and from the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education:

Section 167.031, RSMo, states that any parent, guardian or other person having custody or control of a child between the ages of seven (7) and the compulsory attendance age for the district, must ensure that the child is enrolled in and regularly attends public, private, parochial, home school or a combination of schools for the full term of the school year.  

The term “compulsory attendance age for the district” shall mean seventeen (17) years of age or having successfully completed sixteen (16) credits towards high school graduation in all other cases.

Children between the ages of five (5) and seven (7) are not required to be enrolled in school.  However, if they are enrolled in a public school their parent, guardian or custodian must ensure that they regularly attend.

Were you aware of this law?


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