Senate File 140: Kindergarten Attendance


Last Updated: March 10, 2011
Senate File 140: Kindergarten Attendance
Senator Barnard and Representatives Bonner and Jaggi

SF 140 would establish mandatory kindergarten in Wyoming. Children would not be able to register in the first grade until the student completes a kindergarten program or receives permission from the school district.

HSLDA's Position:

Oppose. Establishing mandatory kindergarten can be the first step in lowering the compulsory attendance age.

Action Requested:
None at this time

1/26/2011     (Senate)     Introduced and referred to Education Committee
2/02/2011     (Senate)     Committee recommended "Do Pass"
2/02/2011     (Senate)     Placed on general file
2/04/2011     (Senate)     Amendment adopted
2/04/2011     (Senate)     Passed Committee of the Whole
2/07/2011     (Senate)     Passed 2nd reading
2/08/2011     (Senate)     Failed 3rd reading
3/04/2011     (Senate)     This bill is now dead


Many education experts have concluded that beginning a child’s formal education too early may actually result in burnout and poor scholastic performance later.

The data shows that students in schools with all-day kindergarten programs have statistically higher 3rd-grade test scores, but there is no impact on 5th-grade scores. This finding is consistent with previous research. Forcing children into school early delivers short-term benefits at best.

According to the 2005 NAEP test scores, children from states that have low compulsory attendance ages (5-6) did not score any higher than children from the other states, and in some subjects their average was actually lower.

Lowering the compulsory attendance age erodes the authority of parents who are in the best position to determine when their child’s formal education should begin.

Another significant impact of expanding the compulsory attendance age would be an inevitable tax increase to pay for more classroom space and teachers to accommodate the additional students compelled to attend public schools.

For more information on compulsory attendance, please see our issues library entry, Compulsory Attendance Age Legislation .

 Other Resources

Bill Text

Bill History

Senate Amendment

Early Education Shows No Benefit