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Should Kindergarten Be Mandatory?

First graders at Rockville Elementary School complete a craft project. The compulsory attendance age in Indiana is 7, so not all students attend kindergarten before starting school.

When it comes to when Indiana students should start schools, Superintendent-elect Glenda Ritz will have at least one ally on the State Board of Education: Tony Walker suggested Wednesday it’s time for Indiana to make kindergarten mandatory.

How Indiana's Youngest Students Are Preparing For All-Day Kindergarten

Teacher Janet Craig helps students identify colors during at pre-kindergarten camp at Maple Elementary in Avon, Ind. United Way funds the camp, which is staffed by local teachers and volunteers from the Indiana University Health system.

Because Indiana still doesn’t fund early childhood education, many students will start school in the fall having never set foot in a classroom. Without preschool, the transition to a full day of classes can be challenging for students who aren’t prepared for kindergarten academics.

Why Indiana Still Doesn't Fund Preschool Programs

A craft project created by Pre-K students at Penny Lane West School in Bloomington.

A bill poised for passage in the Indiana General Assembly would provide $80 million to fully fund all-day kindergarten programs, which many educators consider a step forward. Preschool programs are another story. Even as the Pew Center on the States reports other states have doubled their investment in Pre-K programs over the past decade, Indiana’s one of only 11 states […]

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