Mandatory School Starting Age Could Lower

Montgomery, AL – A state lawmaker's proposal would require children to attend school at age five. State law currently says they don't have to attend school until they're seven. State Representative Priscilla Dunn plans to file a bill this month to lower the mandatory starting age. The Bessemer Democrat says most children do attend school before they turn seven, but she says she's concerned about those who do not. Dunn says attendance is especially a problem in rural areas of the state. She also says the legislative fiscal office is researching how many children the change would affect and what impact the bill would have on schools. But State Representative Demetrius Newton says he doesn't think the plan will succeed because he says it would move money from existing school program that are already in financial straits.