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Senate Bill Means Some Oregon Kindergarteners May Not Start School Until Seven

A view of the west side of the Oregon State Capitol in Salem.
A view of the west side of the Oregon State Capitol in Salem.

The Oregon Senate sent a handful of education-related bills to the governor’s desk Tuesday morning. One of them allows parents to hold their children back from kindergarten for an extra year.

If Gov. Kate Brown signs it, HB 3029 would raise Oregon’s compulsory school age from six to seven. Sen. Elizabeth Steiner Hayward, a Beaverton Democrat is concerned that parents might hold their kids back to benefit them later when they’re old enough to play competitive sports.

“There seems to be something of a practice anecdotally, among parents—particularly parents of boys—who are, quote-unquote, toward the young end of the spectrum, who are “red shirting” their kids and starting them a little bit later,” Steiner Hayward said.

Supporters say not all children are ready for kindergarten at the same age. Parents would have the final say about whether their kids were prepared for school

Sponsors anticipate it will affect roughly 40 kids a year.

Copyright 2017 Northwest News Network

Emily Schwing
Emily Schwing comes to the Inland Northwest by way of Alaska, where she covered social and environmental issues with an Arctic spin as well as natural resource development, wildlife management and Alaska Native issues for nearly a decade. Her work has been heard on National Public Radio’s programs like “Morning Edition” and “All things Considered.” She has also filed for Public Radio International’s “The World,” American Public Media’s “Marketplace,” and various programs produced by the BBC and the CBC. She has also filed stories for Scientific American, Al Jazeera America and Arctic Deeply.