Illinois Governor Pat Quinn signed a law lowering the required age that Illinois students must begin school. The law takes effect in the next school year. It lowers the compulsory age from 7 to 6.
"Too often there are kids who are not coming to school. They are getting a late start and that's not a good start. We want to get an early start on education," Quinn said.
The legislation was introduced after investigative reporting by the Chicago Tribune examining truancy rates in elementary grades. Opponents of the bill, questioned the cost. 26 states have a compulsory age of 6. Eight states and the District of Columbia require students to begin school at age five.