The Daily Item, Sunbury, PA

February 19, 2013

Ruling subjects kindergartners to attendance rules

By Mark Scolforo
The Associated Press

HARRISBURG — A Pennsylvania appeals court says kindergartners who start school become subject to mandatory attendance rules, but if they never enroll, the rules don't apply until first grade or age 8.

Commonwealth Court today upheld a Snyder County judge's decision against Jennifer Kerstetter, in a case that concerns her twin daughters.

Kerstetter is fighting charges filed by the Midd-West School District that stemmed from her daughters' absences for three days in November and December 2011. A district judge convicted her of violating the Public School Code of 1949.

The decision mandates attendance for students who are 8 years old, or for those who have been enrolled.

The court says parents don't have to enroll their children in kindergarten, but once they do they have to keep attending.