Local schools consider lower kindergarten start age

Local News

Indiana parents will now be able to send their children to kindergarten at an earlier age. However, it is up to a school district’s discretion.

Press Secretary for the Indiana Department of Education Adam Baker tells WANE 15 the date for schools to received funding for students is changing.

He says currently, if a child is not five by August 1st of a school year, the school could accept the child into kindergarten, but the school would not receive funding for the student.

Now, the date is changing. For the 2019-20 school year, if a child is five by September 1st, the school will receive funding.  For the 2020-21 school year, if a child is five by October 1st, the school will receive funding.

Baker says the entrance law date will remain August 1st, so if a child isn’t five by then, they still do not technically have to accept them.

Kindergarten is not mandated in Indiana.

WANE 15 has reached out to school districts to hear what their plan is with this funding date change.
Northwest Allen County Schools say they are speaking to legal counsel on how to proceed with the change.

East Allen County Schools says they are currently in discussions “about adopting an appeal procedure that would allow a parent to request a waiver for a student who is not 5 years of age by August 1st.” 

Southwest Allen County Schools says they will be accepting kindergarten registration for any child residing in the SACS district that will be five on or before September 1, 2019 for the 2019-20 school year.

Fort Wayne Community Schools said in a statement:

“FWCS is not making any change in our kindergarten enrollment process. FWCS Board policy states students must be 5 on or before Aug. 1, and a waiver process can be established to admit younger students who meet certain requirements.

Parents sometimes ask for a waiver if their child just misses the cut-off date. The difference with the budget change by the General Assembly is it simply allows for funding to be provided for those younger students.

This year, we did not receive funding for kindergarten students enrolled who were born after Aug. 1.”

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