State superintendent wants to lower age when Hoosier children must attend school

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INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. – It's a little-known fact that took many people by surprise. Children in Indiana aren't required to attend school until they're 7 years old.

Indiana is just one of 16 states that don’t require children to start school until age 7 or later. CBS4 went to a local park and asked parents if they were aware of this. Many of them assumed children had to start school by 5 years old.

During a recent public education panel, Republican State Superintendent Jennifer McCormick said she wants to lower that to age 6. Her press secretary released a statement saying "Beginning a child's education at an early age is important to their success in school and beyond. As we move toward the 2018 legislative session we will roll-out an agenda that discusses this more in-depth, and ways in which we can better prepare children for their future."

In 2015, Democrats failed to lower the compulsory age to 5 and make kindergarten mandatory. Republican majorities say that's because enrollment isn't a problem.

"I really don't think in my district it is an issue I believe that in most cases in my district people are anxious to get their kids enrolled in full day first grade," Sen. Jean Leising said.

Sen. Leising says if the superintendent's research finds there are a large amount of children not attending kindergarten, then she would support legislation to lower the age requirements.

The superintendent says the numbers out there showing how many Hoosier kids attend kindergarten are drastically different.

The next step is getting more solid numbers and then potentially drafting a new law from there.

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