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Houses passes bill changing age of kindergarten eligibility
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ATLANTA (AP) — The Georgia House has passed a bill that would establish an age requirement for children enrolling in kindergarten.

The bill, approved Thursday, requires children to be 5 years old by Aug. 1 to enroll for the 2017-18 school year, and by July 1 for the 2018-19 term.

The proposed legislation sparked controversy during the committee process. Opponents say it could force daycare centers and schools to juggle staffing and young families to adjust financial plans.

Mindy Bitterman of the Georgia Early Educators Alliance for Ready Students, says she's concerned that sponsors of the bill wrongly believe older children will be more prepared.

Jimmy Stokes of the Georgia Association of Education Leaders says the bill ensures children are mature enough when they start.

The bill now moves to the state Senate.