Assembly Bill 186: Lowers Compulsory School Attendance Age Dies in Committee!


Last Updated: June 7, 2017
Assembly Bill 186: Lowers Compulsory School Attendance Age Dies in Committee!

Under current law, parents can choose to have their child skip kindergarten and begin the 1st grade at age 7. If AB 186 were to pass, it would eliminate this current parental choice by mandating that every child attend school by age 6. This would go into effect at the beginning of the 2017-2018 school year.

Under AB 186, parents who would have chosen to delay their child's entrance into formal education and skip kindergarten would be forced to start their children's formal education one year earlier, before they feel it is best for their child.

The requirements of AB 186 would apply to pupils in public and private schools, as well as homeschools.

Advocates of extending government control over all children from birth will be able to use passage of AB 186 as a step toward establishing seamless, cradle-to-grave government-controlled education and development programs for all children.

HSLDA's Position:

Parents, not the state, should decide when their children are ready to attend school. The current age of 7 gives parents that opportunity. Many children are simply not ready to attend school at age 6. However, for those parents who wish their child to attend school, the opportunity to do so already exists under current Nevada law. Choice in Education must include when as well as where.

Lowering the compulsory attendance age from 7 to 6 will create an undue financial burden on parents who intend to enroll their child in private school but wish to choose to wait until their child turns 7. These parents will now be forced by state law to enroll their child one year earlier than planned or submit paperwork to homeschool their child at age 6 even if they determine their child is not ready for school. Homeschooling parents would be required to start their children's formal education at age 6 as well.

Requiring school districts to provide prekindergarten in every elementary school usurps local control of education and will create an undue financial burden for Nevada. There are no proven studies showing kindergarten promotes long-term educational success. To the contrary, research indicates that early education does not improve a child's potential for being a better student in the future, because early gains disappear in a few years. Further, funding for other educational services vital to current public school students will be depleted.

Action Requested:
None at this time

As introduced.
2/13/17 Read first time. Referred to Committee on Education.
2/15/17 From printer. To committee.
4/24/17 Amended to lower compulsory attendance age from 7 to 6
6/6/17 Dies in the Ways and Means Committee
6/6/17 Nevada legislative session has ended

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