Senate Education Committee Chairman Cleo Fields is taking steps to ensure that children are introduced to a learning environment at a younger age to maximize their learning potential. Currently in Louisiana, children are not required to attend kindergarten. Today, Fields pre-filed Senate Bill 10 to make kindergarten attendance mandatory.
According to Louisiana’s Early Childhood Care and Education Commission, birth to 5 years of age is a critical period for brain development. The commission’s research also states that a child’s brain is 90% developed by age five. Fields’s legislation will be a necessary first step in improving the educational outcomes of Louisiana’s children.
"As Louisiana continues to focus on the improvement of, and access to, early childhood education, there has never been a time of more importance to address the issue of kindergarten enrollment,” stated Fields. “In fact, we can’t firmly address the issue of early childhood education if we’re not actively taking steps to ensure there is no gap between a Pre-K and kindergarten education.”
If Senate Bill 10 is approved by the legislature, children who turn five years of age on or before September 30th will be required to be enrolled in kindergarten.
Senate Bill 10 will be debated during the upcoming 2021 Regular Legislative Session which begins on April 12, 2021. To view the measure and other bills that have been pre-filed, visit www.legis.la.gov.
*Note to media: Please see attached SB10