SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (IRN) – Starting next school year, Illinois kids will have to go to schools starting at age six.

It’s a new law which Gov. Pat Quinn was eager to sign.

“Our law right now says age seven. Well, too often there are kids who are not coming to school, they’re getting a late start, and that’s not a good start. We want to get an early start on education,” he said.

Many students already start at age six, some as early as five, but this law brings the compulsory age down to six. Illinois will be one of 27 states with a school age of six.

When this law takes effect next year, any kid who is six by September 1 of a given year will have to enroll in and attend school in the school year that starts that year.

The governor cited research indicating that children who start school at a later age are more likely to drop out, be placed in special education and commit crimes, and less likely to attend college.


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