Alabama school officials do not anticipate a large influx of previously uneducated children into elementary schools this fall because of the Legislature lowering the mandatory school attendance age from 7 to 6-years-old.
The House sponsor of a bill establishing the new mandatory school attendance age, Republican Rep. John Merrill of Tuscaloosa, says he believes there are children whose parents wait until they are 7 to send them to class. He says many of those children enter school behind the rest of the class and some have to be sent back a grade.
Alabama Board of Education spokeswoman Malissa Valdes-Hubert says schools will deal with new pupils by testing them and deciding what grade to place them in. School officials only expect about 50 new students statewide because of the law.