LANSING— Sen. Darwin Booher, R-Evart, listens to former kindergarten teacher Joan Antle of Leelanau County tell Senate Education Committee members about the need to ensure children are ready for school by requiring that a child is age five by the beginning of the school year unless parents and teachers determine the child is prepared.
Antle has 30 years of experience as an educator. She told the panel that given the demanding curriculum students must meet, it is time that Michigan children be a least five when they begin their 13 year formal school education.
Senate Bills 315 and 316, sponsored by Booher, would require a child to be a least five on September 1, rather than December 1, in order to enroll in kindergarten beginning with the 2012-13 school year.
Parents of children who would be affected by the change would be allowed to apply for a waiver. A committee of two teachers and an administrator would evaluate those children based on their readiness and notify the parents on their decision by July 1.
A print-quality photograph of Booher and Antle is available by clicking on the image or by visiting the senator’s photowire.