Proposed NC bill could lower required school entrance age

PITT COUNTY, N.C (WNCT) – A bill filed in the state house this week wants to lower the age of when children are required to start school.

Right now in North Carolina it is not required that children under the age of seven begin school.

Although many start around the age of five, 10 percent of students don’t enroll until they are seven.

House Bill 136 would change that to six.

Second grade teacher Kim Breauit is in favor of the bill and said it is a great idea to start kids at a younger age.

It teaches them not only math and writing skills but also social skills preparing them for the future, she said.

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“Children come in all different levels based on their experiences prior to coming to school so children who have a lot of social background, who parents may be doing a lot of things with them they come in better prepared,” Breauit said.

Kindergarten teacher Hannah Blackerby sees students as old as seven in kindergarten.

“They usually come in at about five and turn six throughout the school year, but we do have some who are a little older,” said Blackerby

Blackerby said she sees the positive impacts starting school young has on her students

“We had several kids come in who weren’t identifying their names yet or their shapes or numbers or anything, and now we have kids who are reading completely fluently, they know all their letters, all their shapes. They can count to 100 and they’re really learning how to be citizens,” she said.

If the bill is passed it would go into effect during the 2017-2018 school year.

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