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Michigan Considers Rolling Back Kindergarten Enrollment Date

Michigan may soon become the latest state to require kids to be 5 years old when they enter kindergarten.

Lawmakers are considering legislation that would roll back the cut-off date for kids to turn 5, from Dec. 1 to Sept. 1, over a three-year period. The cut-off date would move to Nov. 1 in 2013, Oct. 1 in 2014 and Sept. 1 in 2015, according to a Detroit Free Press story.

According to the story, rolling back the enrollment date is "almost an annual debate" in the state legislature. But the idea has gained momentum this year because of the argument that the kindergarten curriculum has become more rigorous, making it too much for younger kids to handle. But critics of the proposed rollback worry that schools will lose funding because fewer students would be enrolling in kindergarten than anticipated.

Officials say the impact would be lessened by the three-year phase-in, while saving the state money.

About 40 states have enrollment cut-off dates in early fall. In California, schools are required by a 2010 state law to roll back the enrollment date this fall from Dec. 1. to Nov. 1, completing the rollback to Sept. 1 by 2014.

In Michigan, the state Senate has passed legislation rolling back the enrollment date, while the House has yet to act on similar legislation.

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