CHICAGO (CBS)–Many parents think their kids are ready to start kindergarten early, and state law passed last year gives them the chance to be considered for early admission.
CBS 2 found Chicago Public Schools may not be following the rule, however.
Ariel, the mother of 3-year-old Lila, says her daughter started reading the month before her 2nd birthday, and she has the video to prove it.
“She just turned three,” Ariel said. “She’s very spunky, very smart. She can already read books on her own.”
Today she’s also mastering math.
With reading and arithmetic already in her repertoire, Ariel wants her daughter to enter kindergarten early, at age four instead of five–an option now required by state law. The new policy took effect last July to “evaluate” a student’s ability and determine if they’re eligible to enter school early.
A problem arose for Ariel, however, when she tried asking questions at CPS.
“They said there was no policy in place yet,” she said.
She emailed CPS inquiring about whether there was a timeline of when the Board of Education would have a process for admitting kids into kindergarten early.
The response from one administrator: “I regret I do not have a timeline.”
“There’s a lot of kids that could move forward and should have the right to,” Ariel said. “It’s the law.”
CPS Chief Education Officer La Tanya D. McDade said school administrators wanted to take the time to thoughtfully plan for an early kindergarten enrollment program.
School districts in suburbs like McHenry, Elmhurst, Oak Lawn, and Tinley Park had policies in place months ago; so CPS is lagging behind.
“We did ask the state to take into consideration the sheer size of our district,” McDade said when questioned about why administrators didn’t act faster. “We are working to do that for the fall.”