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Kindergarten is now mandatory for all five-year-olds in Louisiana

Parents must enroll their children into kindergarten who turn five on or before September 30th of each year

Posted: Jun 23, 2021 11:49 AM

LAFAYETTE, LA (KADN)- Under a new law signed by Governor John Bel Edwards, all 5 years old in the state will now be required to go to kindergarten.

Kindergarten being a requirement has some mothers on edge. Some feel that it forces them to have time away from their child, while others who support it hope that the curriculum isn’t too intense.

Photo courtesy of Chris Granger/The Times-Picayune/The New Orleans Advocate via AP

“Our best and brightest start when they're infants and toddlers. They're all of our young people, our best and brightest so, with that potential, we really need to make better decisions from the start,” Rhonda Kim Gleason, a Lafayette mother and educator, said.

Gleason supports the law but feels the learning structure should be adjusted.

“We need to sort of break down the sort of old-fashioned reading, writing, and arithmetic that we've kind of throw into throw students into,” Gleason said.

Priscilla Green, a Lafayette mother who doesn’t support the law, said that she did not enroll her four children in kindergarten.

According to Green, her children adjusted well when she enrolled them in grade school. She feels that other parents should be able to have the same choice that she did.

“I should be able to determine at that moment, whether I want to enroll my son or daughter at the age of five and kindergarten, or do I prefer to have that year, where I can continue to work and continue to pour into that child,” Green said.

Charita Roy, the director of education at Bridge Ministry of Acadiana, said that the age of 5 is the prime time for kids to go to school.

“That age is so critical, especially if they're not getting those skills at home if that parent is unable to work with them on fine motor skills I say for an example, or learning ABCs even counting then send them to a place where they can,” Roy said.

Roy encourages parents that are will be enrolling their children into kindergarten for the first time to research the schools that fit the need of their child.

“Look at the experience of the teachers there are their certified teachers there, go to the school, meet the principal meet the faculty and staff, if that's open, and get a feel for the school environment,” Roy said.

The law goes into effect for the upcoming 2021-2022 school year. Parents must enroll their children for kindergarten who turn five years old on or before September 30th of each year.

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