Compulsory Attendance Age Lowering is Back

So is Senator K Lightford and her SB 1307.

One lesson I’ve had to learn again and again in Illinois is logic and accountability are low on many legislators’ list.

That’s why our governors are usually highlighted on comedy shows or from prison and our state is broke and broken.

The companion House Bill 2762 failed to lower compulsory attendance age to 6 years of age and sits unmoving in the Senate.  But last Friday, Lightford presented 2 Senate floor amendments in SB 1307 which changed bill language to compulsory attendance age of 6 years of age instead of 5. The current compulsory attendance age is 7 years of age.   SB 1307 was then passed out of the Senate with a vote of 37-19.

Yesterday SB 1307 walked out of the House Elementary and Secondary Education Committee with a vote of 8-5.  From Senator Lightford’s newsletter:

Dear Friends,
As the 2013 session of the Illinois General Assembly begins to wind to a close, I have some exciting progress to announce. My plan to require all 6-year-olds to attend school has cleared the Illinois Senate and is moving in the House.
I know some of you may be shocked to learn that kids are not required to attend school in Illinois until they turn 7, but that is the law in our state – a law I believe we should change. Seven is too late to start school, and the kids who start school late often end up far behind their classmates. This legislation would also make it easier to address the unacceptable chronic truancy rate among kindergartners and first graders – last year a Chicago Tribune investigation revealed that 18 percent of these young kids are not in school when they should be.

To read more about this legislation, click here.

She also proposes her bill is strongly supported by teachers. Her bill is strongly supported by teachers unions, which doesn’t necessarily mean teacher support.  The bill is now on the House docket for a second reading and the House sponsor, Rep. La Shawn Ford, warned of potential “technical amendments”.  In Illinois, that phrase often means a bill is gutted or controversial bill language could be added.  SB 1307 was passed out of the Senate with two floor amendments added in the third reading.

Children learning about river ecology. National Park ServiceContact your Representative and let them know this bill is not necessary.  Kindergartens are already in place in Illinois public schools.  Parents should decide whether their children are ready to be in school, not legislators (or teacher unions).  The IL Association of School Boards opposes this bill because the school districts cannot afford more truancy officers chasing down 6 year old parents for punishment.

Let’s have some common sense in the Illinois Capitol.  It would be refreshing.


Compulsory Attendance Age Lowering is Back — 2 Comments

  1. You need a “share” button, so things can be posted easily to Facebook and Twitter!

  2. Thanks, Maria. I was thinking that the other day. I need to put the TechMaster on it (my husband). My blog is pretty old school right now as I’m busy with content and clueless about widgets.