Decatur Superintendent speaks out on Kindergarten eligibility bill

Posted by Dan Whisenhunt February 5, 2015
Students and parents check out the library at Westchester Elementary on July 31. File Photo by Dan Whisenhunt

Students and parents check out the library at Westchester Elementary on July 31. File Photo by Dan Whisenhunt

City Schools of Decatur Superintendent Phyllis Edwards said she isn’t sure why the state Legislature is considering a change that would push back the eligibility date for Kindergarten enrollment.

But she’s pretty sure it would be a headache for local school systems.

Edwards gave Decaturish a draft copy of a letter she’s planning to send to legislators and the Georgia Department of Education about House Bill 100. The bill has the backing of State School Superintendent Richard Woods.

The bill would change the eligibility date for Kindergarten from Sept. 1 to Aug. 1. Woods said via press release, ““I wholeheartedly support House Bill 100. Since most schools now start before Sept. 1, we have many students starting Kindergarten far too young. Some younger students, especially four-year-olds, are not developmentally ready for Kindergarten. Oftentimes their presence in a classroom requires teachers to provide pre-Kindergarten services to the disadvantage of the older students who are ready to learn at the Kindergarten level and achieve the high academic standards we have in Georgia.”

Edwards said the bill would unfairly punish students who are ready for Kindergarten but have the misfortune of having a fifth birthday that falls after Aug. 1. She said, “If you’re going to solve a problem for kids then why create a problem for kids?”

According to her draft letter, Edwards said that these students would not be able to repeat Pre-K classes. She said at least 20 of the CSD’s Pre-K students would not be able to enroll in Kindergarten if the bill was passed and signed by the governor this year.

Here is the draft copy of her letter about HB 100.

Dr. Edwards Letter

About Dan Whisenhunt

Dan Whisenhunt is editor and publisher of Decaturish.com. https://www.linkedin.com/in/danwhisenhunt

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