Gov. Andrew Cuomo has signed legislation allowing the school boards in Buffalo and Utica to require kindergarten attendance of children beginning at five years old.
Current state law does not require school attendance until age six.
The requirement does not apply to students who attend non-public schools, who are home-schooled, or whose parents opt out.
Both upstate cities anticipate implementing mandatory five-year-old kindergarten for the upcoming school year.
New York state law generally requires students to attend school from ages six through 16. However, several city school districts throughout New York, including Syracuse, New York City and Rochester, have statutory authorization to lower the mandatory entry age to five years old.