Indiana’s top educator says Hoosier kids should start school at age six, not seven and she will push for legislation next session to make that mandatory.

Under current law, children do not have to attend school until age seven, however, most children start kindergarten at age five.

Superintendent of Public Instruction Jennifer McCormick says with the big push for expanding early childhood education, it only makes sense that students start kindergarten sooner.

She says not making kindergarten mandatory at age six creates an education gap because a child could attend preschool at age five and not attend kindergarten for one to two years.

In the past, some lawmakers have pushed back against mandatory kindergarten arguing that decision should be left up to parents.  They also say 97 percent of children age five already attend kindergarten.  However, some studies have put that number closer to 75 percent.

McCormick made her comments this weekend at a public education forum in Indianapolis.

You can hear her in the Leon-Tailored Audio above.  It runs about six minutes.