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Law lowers required school age in Illinois to 6

Aug. 26, 2013 at 4:12 PM

CHICAGO, Aug. 26 (UPI) -- An Illinois anti-truancy bill, lowering the state's compulsory school attendance age from 7 to 6, was signed by Gov. Pat Quinn.

The law, signed Sunday, takes effect in the fall of 2014, and was sparked by analysis of Chicago schools' attendance records indicating nearly 18 percent of the city's kindergartners and first-graders are classified as chronic truants, the Chicago Tribune reported Monday.

While officials have for years announced upbeat attendance statistics, about one in eight students miss at least four weeks of classes per year, and thousands more simply vanish from the rolls, the newspaper said.

"Too many kids are missing school and missing on on the opportunity of a lifetime. We want to changer that," Quinn said at the signing ceremony at Chicago's Nash Elementary School.

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