Illinois Senate passes bill lowering age for school from six to five years old.

The Illinois Senate is voting to lower the age that children have to start school. The legislation changes the compulsory school age from six to five year old. Proponents, like State Senator Kimberly Lightford, say children need a solid start and to learn socialization skills from an early age. Lightford of Maywood says the state has placed so much emphasis on early childhood education – it’s important that kids are in school by age five. Critics, like Senator Chuck Weaver of Peoria says some just aren’t ready. “I’ve had probably as many calls on this than I’ve had on any other bill recently,” Weaver said. “Parents are very concerned about the State taking the decision away from them. There’s a lot of kids that aren’t prepared to go to school at age five. This bill makes that mandatory. It’s taking that right away from parents.” Under the bill, kids born after May 31st of the school year could wait to start until they are six. It now moves to the House. If the bill passes the House and is signed into law, the new age requirement would be in place for the 2020-2021 school year.