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"It does, however, come with a price tag for schools, so any discussion about universal pre-K or mandatory kindergarten needs to include funding for schools to pay for those programs as well."Both teacher's unions in Michigan support mandatory kindergarten and want more kids to enroll in preschool."We believe our state should go beyond mandatory kindergarten to also include universal pre-school education, which a myriad of studies has proven to yield tremendous benefits in student achievement throughout their academic career," said David Crim, spokesman for the Michigan Education Association.
By third grade, a lot of the advantages a child gets from kindergarten disappear unless intervention is continuous in grades 1 and 2, said Harris Cooper, a professor of psychology and neuroscience at Duke University, who reviewed in 2010 about 35 studies looking at the benefits of full-day kindergarten versus half-day.“Especially for a child coming from less well-off home, the boost they can get from kindergarten is the first step to addressing the achievement gap," he said.
The length of the kindergarten school day — full-day or half-day — would be left to the discretion of the school districts, Sowerby said, noting his previous bill on the matter, introduced in 2017, called for a full day of kindergarten."Leaving the decision up to a school district is local control, and it's important," Sowerby said. According to a 2018 report by the Education Commission of the States, only 17 states and the District of Columbia require children to attend kindergarten. Kindergarten in Michigan has undergone some changes in recent years.
In 2012, public schools were told they must offer all-day kindergarten to receive full funding for each kindergarten pupil.
Parks said one reason kindergarten retentions run high in Michigan is it is perceived as being less harmful to retain at that grade because children aren’t as socially aware of the stigma attached to being held back."The research on this says retention does not help in the long run," Parks said. A mandate helps send the message to families and schools that the learning opportunities of kindergarten are valuable."According to the National Center for Education, more than 10 percent of 5-year-olds are not enrolled nationally.
These regulations may include laws that mandate that initiatives address only one topic, restrict the range of acceptable topics for proposed laws, prohibit unfunded mandates and establish guidelines for adjudicating contradictory measures.
Di Sessa said state education officials are reviewing Sowerby's bill and have taken no position on it yet.
Discussing retention Amy Parks, an associate professor of Elementary and Early Childhood Education at Michigan State University, said she doesn't see evidence that kids are being held out of kindergarten in Michigan."The truth is kindergarten it is widely adopted across the United States whether it is mandatory or not," she said.
Many who had been offering only half days made the switch.
In 2013, the cutoff point for a child turning 5 and being allowed to enroll in kindergarten was gradually moved forward from Dec. 1 to increase the age of children entering that grade.
"The vast majority are going to kindergarten already. And you increase the risk of drop off."The age a child could start kindergarten was moved from Dec. 1 in Michigan to allow children to develop more emotionally and socially, Parks said."Kids started young. "I hope would that retentions would fall down as the age date moved forward." Nell Duke, a professor in the School of Education at the University of Michigan whose work focuses on early literacy development, said so much learning is expected to occur in kindergarten now that if children enter first grade without it, it can be hard on the child, the teacher and even classmates."Optional kindergarten can lead families to think that kindergarten is not important," Duke said.