SENATE, Nos. 638 and 1455
STATE OF NEW JERSEY
ADOPTED MARCH 7, 2016
Senator SHIRLEY K. TURNER
District 15 (Hunterdon and Mercer)
Senator M. TERESA RUIZ
District 29 (Essex)
Requires full-day kindergarten in all school districts and establishes uniform age requirement for enrollment in kindergarten.
CURRENT VERSION OF TEXT
Substitute as adopted by the Senate Education Committee.
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] a 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 2018-2019 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 2019-2020 school year.
(cf: P.L.1996, c.138, s.72)
3. This act shall take effect immediately.