State report recommends keeping kindergarten cutoff window unchanged

When to send your child to kindergarten can be a big decision and Vermont state leaders were looking at whether to change the cutoff law.
Published: Jan. 9, 2023 at 7:18 AM EST
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BURLINGTON, Vt. (WCAX) - At what age should children start kindergarten? It can be a tough decision for parents. So, Vermont state leaders were looking at whether to change the current cutoff law.

Vermont is one of a small number of states where there isn’t a firm cutoff date for when kids should start kindergarten.

According to state law, parents can send their children to school at the age of 4 if they will turn 5 anywhere in the Sept.1 to Jan. 1 window.

But the Education Agency looked into it and found the majority of school districts set their own cutoff date of Sept. 1. As a result, the agency recommends not changing the state law.

The report also said the kindergarten age shouldn’t be lowered. The AOE consulted 13 stakeholders from six education organizations to create the report.

Flor Diaz Smith of the Vermont School Boards Association, one of the 13 stakeholders consulted, agreed with the report’s findings.

“I think the sense from the group was that there’s not a problem to solve right now. That was the sense of the group. It’s a bigger conversation if you’re really gonna talk about lowering the age. Are the kids ready to go in and be with the kindergarteners at that point? You know, is it worth it? There are a lot of conversations that are not as simple. Plus, as I said before, we already had a policy,” said Diaz Smith.

The Agency of Education’s report recommends against lawmakers taking any action that affects students’ ability to enter kindergarten.