CHICAGO (CBS) — You may be surprised to hear that Illinois doesn’t require kids to be in school until age seven, but, as WBBM’s Nancy Harty reports, that’s about to change.

While all Illinois school districts already offer kindergarten and many have preschools state law says a child doesn’t have to show up until second grade.

Governor Pat Quinn signed a law that will change the mandatory school age from seven to six starting next year.

“It is so important to have early learning. Waiting until age seven holds back too many of our children and we want to make sure that they get a good education right from the start,” said Quinn.

The Governor’s office points to research that says children who start school earlier are less likely to drop out and commit crimes and more likely to go to college.

Part of the bill also sets up a task force to study truancy.

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