At What Age Is School Mandatory in America?

In the United States, the age at which children are required to start school varies by state. There is no federal mandate dictating a specific starting age for mandatory education, leaving it to each state to set its own requirements. However, most states have established that children must begin their formal education by the age of 5 or 6.

Kindergarten is often the first stage in mandatory schooling, and in some states, attendance is required once a child reaches the appropriate age. Typically, this means that by age 5 or 6, children should be enrolled in a homeschool, a public school, or a private school setting where they can receive education.

Compulsory education continues until children reach a certain upper age limit, which is typically between 16 and 18 years old. Beyond this age, students can choose to stay in school to complete their high school education and receive a diploma or may decide to pursue alternative educational paths such as GED programs.

Educational laws are subject to change, so it’s important for parents and guardians to verify the current regulations with their local school districts or state education departments to ensure compliance with compulsory education requirements.