School districts not expecting many ripples from new compulsory age


Share
Posted Online: Aug. 31, 2013, 11:18 pm
Comment on this story | Print this story | Email this story
By Anthony Watt, awatt@qconline.com
Several Quad-Cities area school districts are not expecting a new, lower compulsory school age to cause much complication in operations.

The law signed last Sunday by Gov. Pat Quinn and scheduled to take effect in the 2014-2015 school year, lowers the compulsory age from 7 to 6, a move state officials said puts Illinois in line with about half of U.S. states.

Once the law takes effect, any student turning 6 years old on or before Sept. 1 must be enrolled in school for that school year.

Officials from local districts -- including Hampton, Silvis, Rock Island-Milan and Moline-Coal Valley -- said most of their students already start before 7 or even 6, or that the law would not change things to any serious degree.

"I do not recall anyone over the years not starting their child in kindergarten at age 5," Hampton superintendent Tom Berg said. "There are often people who ask to start children at age 4. For Hampton, I believe it to be a non-issue."

Silvis superintendent Ray Bergles said most Silvis students have attended preschool, then go directly to kindergarten."There might be (one to three) students per year that might begin later," he said.

Nearly all Carbon Cliff-Barstow students are in kindergarten by the time they are 5, superintendent Andy Richmond said.

Initially, backers wanted the compulsory age lowered to 5, which is the compulsory age in the District of Columbia, but that idea was scrapped.

Opponents had questioned the cost of the change. State officials have estimated that lowering the age would cost roughly $28 million.

The Illinois State Board of Education said that cost would be spread out between school districts and the state and would be caused by the possible influx of students.

But Gov. Quinn said the overall societal benefits of educating children outweighed the costs.

Mr. Richmond said the measure could have some advantages for students in regards to their development at the time they reach school.

"The only advantage I see by waiting until the age of 6 would be the maturation of the child," Mr. Richmond said.

The law can be viewed at http://www.ilga.gov/legislation/publicacts/fulltext.asp?Name=098-0544 .

The Associated Press contributed to this report.




















 



Local events heading








  Today is Friday, Sept. 19, the 262nd day of 2014. There are 103 days left in the year.
1864 -- 150 years ago: Charles M. Osborn of this city, a lawyer of prominence, who voted for Lincoln in 1860 is now out strong for McClellan and will take the stump for him.
1889 -- 125 years ago: The George Fleming company had begun its dried fruit packing in a branch plant on 16th Street, Rock Island, employing nearly a hundred workers.
1914 -- 100 years ago: The cornerstone of the new Eagles home was laid. Building committee members were John Kobeman, Fred Ehmke and Frank Wich.
1939 -- 75 years ago: Former Kaiser Wilhelm, in exile, is sad as the Nazis march with communists.
1964 -- 50 years ago: Ninety-two members of the acappella choir at Davenport's West High School today accepted an invitation to perform at the New York World's Fair on June 13, 1965.
1989 -- 25 years ago: A Rock Island woman is one of 50 winners of $10,000 in cash in the Illinois State Lottery's "Celebration "89" instant ticket game. Dawn Loeffler was the third winner to be chosen through daily drawings that began Aug. 28 and will run 50 consecutive days.






(More History)