Lawmakers decide kindergarten will be mandatory in Louisiana

School tile / photo courtesy of Getty Images

BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) - All 5-year-old children in Louisiana should receive a kindergarten education, lawmakers decided Wednesday.

With one day remaining in the legislative session, lawmakers sent the measure by Sen. Cleo Fields, a Baton Rouge Democrat, to the governor's desk. The Senate voted 38-0 for the final version of the legislation, while the House backed it in a 70-32 vote.

Democratic Gov. John Bel Edwards supports the bill and will sign it into law.

The requirement will take effect with the 2022-23 school year. It is estimated to add up to 2,800 students to kindergarten rolls when the mandate starts.

Louisiana children currently must attend school from the ages of 7 to 18, unless they graduate early from high school. Fields' bill will require kindergarten attendance for children who turn 5 years old by Sept.