Kindergarten cutoff bill goes to Gov. Bill Haslam

Kindergarten cutoff bill goes to Gov. Bill Haslam

April 27th, 2012 by Andy Sher in Local - Breaking News

Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam

Photo by Associated Press/Times Free Press.

NASHVILLE - Legislation moving up the cutoff date to meet age requirements to enter kindergarten is on its way to Gov. Bill Haslam for his consideration.

The Senate on Thursday took final action on the bill, approving it on a 21-10 vote. It passed the House earlier this week on a 68-30 vote.

Under current law, a child must be 5 years old by Sept. 30 to enroll in kindergarten. But under the bill, the child must turn 5 by Aug. 31 starting in 2013. The cutoff date moves to Aug. 15 in the 2014 school year.

Children who don't meet the new cutoff dates will have to wait a year before entering kindergarten.

The bill has two exceptions. If a director of schools decides as a result of parent-requested evaluation or testing that the child is "sufficiently mature," he or she can enter kindergarten.

And children who participated in a pre-kindergarten program during the 2012-13 or 2013-14 school years may enter kindergarten in the 2013-14 or 2014-15 school years respectively.