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Inside the Classroom

Pennsylvania school attendance requirements among lowest in country

Jamie Martines
| Thursday, Nov. 9, 2017, 9:00 a.m.

Pennsylvania is among seven states that require the fewest years of school attendance, according to an updated 50-state comparison by the Education Commission of the States.

New Jersey, New York and Massachusetts all require students to attend at least 10 years of school, while West Virginia requires 11 years and Ohio requires students to attend for at least 12 years.

Several states, including Connecticut, Maryland and the District of Columbia, require as many as 13 years in the classroom.

Students in Pennsylvania are guaranteed a free education in the state's public schools between the ages of 6 and 21; however, attendance is required only for students between the ages of 8 and 17.

All states offer free education for more years than they require attendance, according to the report.

Local school boards have the power to establish and maintain kindergarten requirements for children age 4 to 6. Kindergarten is not required by the state.

There are 13 states, plus the District of Columbia, that require districts to offer full-day kindergarten, according to the report.

Jamie Martines is a Tribune-Review staff writer. Reach her at, 724-850-2867 or on Twitter @Jamie_Martines.

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