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House approves kindergarten requirement bill

By MARY SELL, Alabama Daily News

The Alabama House of Representatives voted 81-19 to approve a bill requiring students to attend kindergarten or take a readiness test before entering first grade.

House Bill 331, by Rep. Pebblin Warren, D-Tuskegee, now goes to the Senate. A similar bill died last year without a vote in that chamber. 

The bill would increase kindergarten enrollment by about 5,000 students annually, according to a fiscal note.

“This bill is a first-grade readiness bill,” Warren said on the House floor Wednesday evening. “If we want our students to be successful, we’ve got to give them a foundation.”

She said students who don’t attend kindergarten are at a disadvantage when they enter first grade with students who may have attended pre-K and kindergarten.

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