Assemblywoman CONNIE WAGNER
District 38 (Bergen and Passaic)
Assemblywoman BONNIE WATSON COLEMAN
District 15 (Hunterdon and Mercer)
Assemblywoman MILA M. JASEY
District 27 (Essex and Morris)
Assemblyman PATRICK J. DIEGNAN, JR.
District 18 (Middlesex)
Assemblywoman MARLENE CARIDE
District 36 (Bergen and Passaic)
Requires full-day kindergarten in all school districts and establishes uniform age requirement for enrollment in kindergarten.
CURRENT VERSION OF TEXT
An Act concerning kindergarten programs in public schools and amending N.J.S.18A:38-5 and N.J.S.18A:44-2.
Be It Enacted by the Senate and General Assembly of the State of New Jersey:
1. N.J.S.18A:38-5 is amended to read as follows:
18A:38-5. No child [under] attaining the age of five years after September 1 of that school year shall be admitted to any public school, except such as may be provided pursuant to law for children of his age.
No board of education shall be required to accept by transfer from public or private school any pupil who was not eligible by reason of age for admission on [October] September 1 of that school year [, but the board may in its discretion admit any such pupil if he or she meets such entrance requirements as may be established by rules or regulations of the board] .
2. N.J.S.18A:44-2 is amended to read as follows:
18A:44-2. a. The board of education of any district [may] shall establish a kindergarten school or kindergarten department, which [in order to receive State aid] shall be a one-year program in advance of or in preparation for entrance to first grade, in any school under its control, and [may admit to such kindergarten school or department any child over the age of four and under the age of five and] shall admit to such kindergarten school or department any child over the age of five and under the age of six years as of September 1 of that school year who is a resident of the district.
b. A kindergarten school or kindergarten department established by a board of education shall provide a full-day kindergarten program. A district classified in district factor groups A, B, CD, or DE that is not providing a full-day kindergarten program prior to the effective date of P.L. , c. (pending before the Legislature as this bill) shall provide a full-day kindergarten program no later than the beginning of the 2013-2014 school year. Any other district that is not providing a full-day kindergarten program prior to the effective date of P.L. , c. (pending before the Legislature as this bill) shall provide a full-day kindergarten program no later than the beginning of the 2014-2015 school year.
(cf: P.L.1996, c.138, s.72)
3. This act shall take effect immediately.
This bill requires that all school districts provide full-day kindergarten programs to their resident students. If a school district does not currently provide a full-day kindergarten program, and is classified in district factor groups A, B, CD, or DE, then the district would be required to begin offering such a program by the beginning of the 2013-2014 school year. All other school districts would be required to provide such a program by the beginning of the 2014-2015 school year.
The bill also establishes a uniform age requirement for a student to enroll in kindergarten. Under current law, each school district determines the date by which a child must attain the age of five years in order to enroll in kindergarten; districts are also allowed to enroll a child who is not yet five years old. Under the bill, a child would have to be five years old by September 1 of the school year in order to enroll in kindergarten.