Bill to move start date for kindergarten on pause

PIERRE, S.D. (KCCR) – A bill that if approved would change the start date for kindergarten in South Dakota is on pause by the Senate Education Committee. House Bill 1174 would move the date to Aug. 1 instead of Sept. 1, making sure a child was at least 5-years-old before they could begin kindergarten. The bill has support from many kindergarten and first grade teachers who say some children aren’t ready for school by the current requirements.

Senator Wayne Steinhauer understands the idea, but is worried about the financial impact of the move.

Senator Jim Bolin says he’s inclined to favor the bill but can see both sides.

Committee chair Senator Blake Curd says change could have a major impact on families.

Senate V.J. Smith was absent from the hearing when a do-pass motion on the bill ended in a 3-3 tie, killing the bill. A second motion to send HB-1174 to the 41st Legislative Day was substituted by a motion to delay action on the bill until Smith has a chance to listen to the discussion.