Senate Passes Legislation Authorizing City of Rochester School District To Require Kindergarten Attendance

Joseph E. Robach

June 22, 2012

The New York State Senate passed legislation (S7519), sponsored by Senator Robach, which authorizes the City of Rochester School District to require minors age five to attend kindergarten.

“Rochester City School District currently provides children a full day kindergarten program in keeping with the numerous studies documenting the educational benefit and related long-term success of early quality education,” said Senator Joe Robach. “Unfortunately, too many kindergarten children are absent from school during the year, leaving them without the benefit of this educational experience.”

Senator Robach’s education legislation is designed to address the kindergarten attendance issue in the Rochester City School District by requiring five-year-old children (children who are five years of age on or before December 1st) to benefit from the District’s kindergarten initiative for long-term academic success.  A similar provision in Education Law was adopted for the Syracuse City School District 25 years ago.

The Rochester Board of Education recently adopted a resolution, supported by Joe Robach, recognizing the importance of kindergarten as part of the educational process and requesting the authority to require kindergarten attendance. The resolution notes that, “…. enumerable studies have documented the value to children of beginning the educational process at an early age in order to prepare them for a life of learning, work and active engagement in society.”

The bill will be sent to the Governor for his consideration.