LAS VEGAS (AP) — Children in Nevada could be required to start school by age 5 under a bill proposed by a state lawmaker.

North Las Vegas Democratic Assemblywoman Olivia Diaz introduced the bill Wednesday. It would make school attendance mandatory at a younger age and require districts to establish pre-kindergarten programs.

Diaz says studies have shown that such programs can boost the performance of less privileged students.

The Department of Education projects that the changes would cost $176 million for fiscal year 2017-18. The governor’s proposed budget does not include that funding.

Representatives from Nevada’s two largest school districts spoke in favor of the bill. Nevada Families for Freedom criticized using taxpayer money to “institutionalize little children.”

The Education Committee has not yet taken action on the bill.

Copyright 2017 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


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