Beginning with the upcoming school year, children entering kindergarten must be five years of age on or before August 1, as compared to October 1.
The General Assembly changed the law in 2012, based on the premise that younger students may not be ready for kindergarten and may not get off to a successful start. The change takes effect for the 2017-18 school year, for which schools will soon be registering students.
Parents/caretakers may request an early enrollment option for those students not meeting the entry age requirements. Under KRS 158.030, districts must establish a policy for an early enrollment that includes an evaluation process to determine the child’s readiness for school.
In 2015, the General Assembly amended this statute to allow early admission students, enrolled with the district’s policy, to be counted in the district’s average daily attendance (ADA) for the calculation of SEEK funding.
Districts are allowed to charge tuition for students admitted under the district’s early admission policy, but no more than it charges students that meet the age requirements for enrollment. Therefore, if a district does not charge tuition for resident students that are five years old by the cutoff date, then the district cannot charge tuition to resident students that are admitted under the early admission policy.
Similarly, if the district does charge tuition for non-resident students that meet the cutoff date, then the district can only charge the same amount of tuition to non-resident students that were admitted under the policy. However, districts cannot charge tuition to any student that is eligible for free/reduced price meals.
Additional information can be found on the Kentucky Department of Education’s website: http://bbit.ly/EarlyEntranceKindergarten.
Specific questions about kindergarten enrollment and the district’s early admission policy should be directed to the local school district in which the student will be enrolled.