- January 10, 2017 – A few words from WPA for the new year
- February 11, 2017 – A few things that Wisconsin homeschoolers should be aware of
- February 15, 2017 – Where is the proof that vouchers for homeschooling will bring more regulations?
- February 17, 2017 – Contact your legislators today.
- June 22, 2017 – Update to WI youth employment laws
- September 7, 2017 – 2017-2019 Biennial Budget Bill
- September 21, 2017 – Budget Bill Signed
- January 28, 2018 – WPA Response to Abuse and Regulation
- January 30, 2018 – Representative Sinicki Requests the Formation of a Committee to Study Wisconsin Homeschool Law
- January 31, 2018 – Action Clarification
- April 10, 2018
- July 20, 2018
- January 8, 2019
- February 12, 2019
- April 16, 2019
- June 29, 2019 – Legislative Watch Update – Wisconsin Budget
- February 25, 2020 – S.634 & H.R.1434 Action Required
- August 25, 2020 – Wisconsin Homeschooling Parents Association Statement Regarding August 24, 2020 Statement from Wisconsin Superintendent of Schools Carolyn Stanford Taylor
- September 17, 2020 – Wisconsin Homeschooling Parents Association Statement Regarding the Consequences of Doing More Than the Law Requires
- February 8, 2021 - Election of State Superintendent of Public Instruction
- March 8, 2021 - Response to AB122 (2021)
- March 15, 2021 - Action Alert: 2021 AB 122 / SB 201 “Creation of Microschools”
- July 23, 2021 - Call to Action For SB 201
- July 23, 2021 - Public Hearing Cancelled - Watch for New Date
- August 2021 - Is Wisconsin's "Kindergarten Requirement" Enforceable?
- February 18, 2022 - Action Alert: AB 122
- February 22, 2022 - WHPA Needs Your Support Tomorrow
- February 24, 2022 - Update and Action Alert 2021 AB 122 / SB 201: “Micro Education Pods”
- February 28, 2022 - IT’S UP TO YOU TO STAND UP FOR YOUR RIGHTS
- March 4, 2022 - Voting Day on SB 201 and AB 122
- March 6, 2022 - AB 122 Final Vote on Tuesday
- March 9, 2022 - AB 122 UPDATE and ACTION ALERT
- March 24, 2022 - Reminders About Proposed "Micro Education Pods"
PO Box 2502
Madison, WI 53701
August 2021 – Is Wisconsin’s “Kindergarten Requirement” Enforceable?
A Wisconsin law passed in 2009 states public schools may not enroll a child in first grade unless that child has completed 5-year-old kindergarten, or applies for and receives an exemption to this requirement.
Does this law mean a school can refuse to enroll a child in first grade? The answer is we don’t know for certain. The law has never been challenged or tested in the courts. However, it appears unenforceable.
For a child who did not complete kindergarten, but wants to enroll in first grade, the confusing state of the law is this:
First, public schools are charged with educating every child in their district who wants to attend. Under the Constitution of the State of Wisconsin, district schools “shall be free and without charge for tuition to all children between the ages of 4 and 20 years.” This means that public schools must accept all children who live in their districts. There are specific exceptions only for children who are currently expelled from public school.
Generally, public schools should provide each child with an appropriate education. Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction states “The district is responsible for providing a welcoming environment for all age-eligible children and their families through curriculum adaptation, teacher placement options, consultation with school specialists, and referrals for further evaluations.” (DPI.gov, “Frequently Asked Questions: Four- and Five-year-old Kindergarten”).
Under the 2009 law, school districts must have and follow a written policy for exempting children from the requirement that they complete kindergarten before enrolling in the first grade. While school districts can set their own policies for exemption, the law requires that exemptions include children who moved from an out-of-state district where they were not required to complete kindergarten, or they were exempted from a kindergarten requirement.
What would happen if a school were to refuse to enroll a child who did not complete kindergarten into the first grade, even after the parent applied for an exemption? The final answer is we do not know because this law has not been court-tested. However, because the law creates a situation in which a school MUST enroll a child somewhere, and placing a child in a class that is inappropriate for them is generally not acceptable, it is likely that a court challenge to this law would end with the law being found unenforceable. Unfortunately, we don’t yet know for certain.