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Table 5.3. Types of state and district requirements for kindergarten entrance and attendance, waivers and exemptions for kindergarten entrance, by state: 2018

State Compulsory school age 1 Kindergarten
entrance age
  State requires
district to
offer full-day
kindergarten
program
  State requires
district to
offer half-day
kindergarten
program
  State requires
attendance
 
United States2     17   28   18  
                     
Alabama 6   5 on or before 9/01   Yes   No   No  
Alaska 7
  5 on or before 9/01   No   No   No  
Arizona 6   5 before 9/01   No   Yes   No  
Arkansas 5   5 on or before 8/01   Yes   No   Yes  
California 6   5 on or before 9/01   No   Yes   No  
                     
Colorado 6 on or before 8/01   5 on or before 10/01   No   Yes   No  
Connecticut 5   5 on or before 1/01 3 No   Yes   Yes  
Delaware 5 on or before 8/31   5 on or before 8/31   Yes   No   Yes  
District of Columbia 5 on or before 9/30   5 on or before 9/30   Yes   No   Yes  
Florida 6 by 2/01   5 on or before 9/01   No   Yes   No  
                     
Georgia 6   5 by 9/01   No   Yes   No  
Hawaii 5 on or before 7/31   5 on or before 7/31   Yes   No   Yes  
Idaho 7 by first day of school   5 on or before 9/01   No   No   No  
Illinois 6 on or before 9/01   5 on or before 9/01   Yes 4 Yes 4 No  
Indiana 7   5 on 8/01   No   Yes   No  
                     
Iowa 6 by 9/15 5 5 by 9/15   No   Yes    
Kansas 7   5 on or before 8/31   No   Yes   No  
Kentucky 6 by 8/01   5 by 8/01   No   Yes   No  
Louisiana 7   5 by 9/30   Yes   No   Yes 6
Maine 7   5 on or before 10/15   No   Yes    
                     
Maryland 5   5 by 9/01   Yes   No   Yes  
Massachusetts 6   Local Education Agency (LEA) option   No   Yes    
Michigan 6 by 12/01   5 by 9/01   No   No   No  
Minnesota 7   5 on or before 9/01 7 No   No   No  
Mississippi 6 on or before 9/01   5 on or before 9/01   Yes   No    
                     
Missouri 7   5 before 8/01 8 No   Yes   No  
Montana 7 by the first day of school   5 on or before 9/10   Yes 4 Yes 4 No  
Nebraska 6 by 1/01   5 on or before 7/31   No   Yes   No  
Nevada 7   5 on or before 9/30   No   Yes   Yes 9
New Hampshire 6     No   No   No  
                     
New Jersey 6   LEA option 10 No 11 No   No 12
New Mexico 5 by 9/01   5 before 9/01   No   Yes   Yes  
New York 6   LEA option 13 No 14 No   No 15
North Carolina 7   5 on or before 8/31   Yes   No   No 16
North Dakota 7   5 before 8/01   No   Yes   No  
                     
Ohio 6   LEA option 17 No   Yes   Yes  
Oklahoma 5   5 on or before 9/01   Yes   No   Yes  
Oregon 6   5 on or before 9/01   No   Yes   No  
Pennsylvania 8   LEA option 18 No   No   No  
Rhode Island 6 on or before 9/01   5 on or before 9/01   Yes   No   Yes  
                     
South Carolina 5 before 9/01   5 on or before 9/01   Yes   No   Yes  
South Dakota 6   5 on or before 9/01   No   Yes   Yes 19
Tennessee 6   5 on or before 8/15   Yes   No   Yes  
Texas 6   5 on or before 9/01   No   Yes   No  
Utah 6   5 before 9/02   No   Yes   No  
                     
Vermont 6   5 20 No   Yes   No  
Virginia 5 on or before 9/30   5 on or before 9/30   No   Yes   Yes  
Washington 8   5 on or before 8/31   Yes   No   No  
West Virginia 6 prior to 9/01   5 prior to 9/01 21 Yes   No   Yes  
Wisconsin 6   5 on or before 9/01 22 No   Yes   Yes 23
Wyoming 7 on or before 9/15   5 on or before 9/15   No   Yes 24  
† Not applicable.
1 Specific date at which compulsory age is reached is included only if specified in statute.
2 The total reflects the number of "Yes" responses in the column.
3 Children must be 5 years of age on or before January 1 of the current school year.
4 Districts must offer either full-day or half-day kindergarten.
5 Children enrolled in preschool programs (4 years of age on or before September 15) are considered to be of compulsory school attendance age.
6 Or otherwise satisfactorily pass an academic readiness screening upon enrollment in grade 1.
7 School boards may adopt an early admissions policy.
8 Metropolitan districts can establish a policy that a child must be 5 on or before any date between August 1 and October 1.
9 Or otherwise be assessed as prepared to enter grade 1.
10 Districts may admit children aged 4-5, and they must admit children aged 5-6. The cutoff date must be after October 1.
11 The Abbott districts are required to offer full-day kindergarten.
12 Children are required to attend full-day kindergarten in the Abbott districts.
13 Students must be between the ages of 4-6.  
14 Districts are required to offer full-day kindergarten in Syracuse, New York City, Rochester, Utica, Buffalo, Cohoes, Watervliet, and Yonkers school districts.
15 Children are required to attend full-day kindergarten in Syracuse, New York City, Rochester, Utica, Buffalo, Cohoes, Watervliet, and Yonkers school districts.
16 The initial entry point into school is kindergarten, but a principal may override this for an exceptionally mature student and place the child in grade 1.
17 Districts may adopt a resolution establishing August 1 instead of September 30 as the required date by which students must have attained the specified age.
18 Students must be between the age of 4 and 6. Minimum age for kindergarten entrance is 4 years 7 months before the first day of the school year.
19 All children must attend kindergarten before age 7.
20 LEA may require students admitted to kindergarten to attain the age of 5 on or before August 31 and January 1.
21 In the 2018–19 school year districts must offer prekindergarten to all children who are age 4 before July 1.
22 Kindergarten entrance age is 5 on or before September 1 for 5-year-old kindergarten, or age 4 on or before September 1 for 4-year-old kindergarten.
23 Children must attend in districts that offer kindergarten.
24 School districts must establish and maintain relationships with a district that offers one full-day kindergarten.
SOURCE: Education Commission of the States, 50-State Comparison: State Kindergarten Through Third Grade Policies, retrieved June 6, 2018 from https://www.ecs.org/kindergarten-policies/. Data Source.