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Gov. John Bel Edwards signed the mandatory kindergarten bill Monday.

Gov. John Bel Edwards on Monday signed a bill that will make kindergarten mandatory in Louisiana.

The measure, Senate Bill 10, won Senate approval 38-0 and cleared the House 70-32.

Backers said the new requirement will help improve classroom performance by ensuring all young children are learning at an early age.

Under the law, youngsters who turn 5 by Sept. 30 will be required to attend kindergarten.

The parents of children who are 4 on the first day of school can decide to hold their children back a year and enroll them in kindergarten the following school year. There is also an exception for children enrolled in a prekindergarten program. 

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Families can comply with state law by home schooling their children in kindergarten.

The law takes effect for the 2022-23 school year.

The measure was sponsored by Senate Education Committee Chairman Cleo Fields, D-Baton Rouge.

Fields is holding press conference at public schools in Baton Rouge and elsewhere on Tuesday to call attention to the change.

  

Email Will Sentell at wsentell@theadvocate.com.