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Education news and notes from Tampa Bay and Florida

Should high-achieving Florida 4-year-olds be allowed into kindergarten?



As he pushes for Florida's high achieving students to get more academic challenges, state House speaker pro tem John Legg, R-New Port Richey, suggests that perhaps even the state's 4-year-olds should have more options than just prekindergarten, too.

Calling the Sept. 1 cutoff date for kindergarten entrance "arbitrary and capricious," Legg said that he'd like to find a way to legislatively permit 4-year-olds who can prove their academic mettle a seat in kindergarten before they turn 5. If they can pass some tests showing they have what it takes, he said, "let them start."

He figured this concept could be problematic because of its fiscal implications: "We'll be looking for money to find a way to say, Why don't we move it back a year?'"

It's not an idea for every youngster. Even the most intellectually precocious 4-year-old might not be socially ready to do a full day with the 5- and 6-year-olds. But it could be good for a few. Should Florida even consider this option? Or is voluntary pre-k the place for the 4's to be?

[Last modified: Monday, November 7, 2011 4:04pm]


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