Bill to require older kindergarten students

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) -- A proposal to move up the cutoff date to meet kindergarten age requirements is headed to the governor.

The measure sponsored by Republican Sen. Jack Johnson of Franklin was approved 21-10 by the Senate on Thursday. The companion bill passed the House 68-30 earlier this week.

Currently, children must be 5 years old by Sept. 30 to enroll in kindergarten. The measure would move that cutoff date to Aug. 31 in the school year beginning in 2013, and to Aug. 15 the following year.

Johnson says he proposed the legislation at the urging of kindergarten teachers who say some children are not ready to learn until they get a certain age.

Democratic Sen. Roy Herron of Dresden said the measure would hurt cash-strapped parents.

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