LANSING — State Rep. Bill Sowerby (D-Clinton Township) introduced legislation today that would require all Michigan students to attend kindergarten.

“Early childhood education lays the groundwork for future academic success, and studies have shown that children who attend kindergarten are better prepared for elementary school both academically and socially,” Sowerby said. “With third-grade reading requirements taking effect next year, it is more important than ever that we ensure our students are not falling behind. We need to make sure we’re providing Michigan children with every opportunity to learn, grow and flourish.”

Children who turn five years of age before or on Sept.1 will be enrolled for the upcoming school year, and those who turn five after that date will be enrolled the next year. Length of the school days will be left up to the discretion of the school district. If made law, HB 4071 would make Michigan the 18th state to require kindergarten for its students.