Student Support Services

Amendment to the Education Law in Relation to Compulsory Attendance

To:                 District Superintendents of Schools, Superintendents of Schools and Principals of Public and Nonpublic Schools      

From:          Arthur L. Walton   

Date:           August 1993

Subject:   Amendment to the Education Law in Relation to Compulsory Attendance

The following information concerns a recent amendment to Section 3205 of the Education Law relating to compulsory attendance.

Last year, Chapter 198 of the Laws of 1992 was enacted to require all children who turn six years old prior to the last day of the school year to begin school on the first day the public schools are in session rather than on their birthdays.  That law has now been amended (Chapter 518 of the Laws of 1993) to allow parents of children born after December first to have their children enter school the following September.  This change does not alter the essential intent of Chapter 198, which was to assure that children enter or leave school at the beginning or end of the school year.            

Children who turn six (6) on or before December first of the school year must attend school from the start of classes in September of that school year.  Children who turn six (6) after December first must begin school no later than the first day of session the following September.

Children who turn 16 during the school year must remain in school until the end of that school year.In districts that elect to raise the compulsory age to 17 pursuant to Section 3205(3) of the Education Law, attendance is required until the end of the school year in which students turn 17.

For additional information about the compulsory attendance laws, please contact the District Superintendent of Schools of your Board of Cooperative Educational Services (BOCES).

Last Updated: March 10, 2009