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Kindergarten could become mandatory in Mississippi

WEDNESDAY, JANUARY 16, 2013 10:22 AM

While Mississippi has adopted the Common Core State Standards (CCSS), some lawmakers believe the state's students are not as prepared as they should be for the rigorous instruction that awaits them. For this reason, at least four state senators and one member of the House of Representatives want to introduce legislation that would make kindergarten mandatory for 5-year-olds, according to The Associated Press.

"With the advent of Common Core State Standards, the requirements for kindergarten will be more stringent, and any efforts to encourage early learning will better prepare students," said Lynn House, the interim state superintendent, as quoted by the news source.

This is not the first time Mississippi lawmakers have tried to make kindergarten mandatory. In the past, opposition to such a law has argued that parents, and not the state, need to make decisions as to how they raise their children. In 2012, more than 41,000 students attended public kindergarten programs in the state.

Mississippi is not alone in its desire to make kindergarten mandatory. Last year, Andrew Cuomo, the governor of New York, signed a bill that made kindergarten in New York City mandatory for any children who turn 5 by December 1, WABC reported.