From The Boston Globe:
This fall, New Hampshire will lose its distinction as the last holdout in the nation not to offer public kindergarten, as the last 10 school districts, all in the southern part of the state, are required to open their doors to 5-year-olds for the first time.
Under a mandate from the Legislature, the school districts are setting up portable classrooms and adding furniture, computers, and other equipment, paid for with $3.5 million in state money, said Helen Schotanus, a state Department of Education consultant.
Oregon became the 49th state to require public kindergarten statewide in 1989, Schotanus said. Vermont adopted such a requirement in 1988. All Massachusetts school districts have been required to offer kindergarten for more than 30 years.
But in New Hampshire, offering kindergarten was purely a local option until two years ago, when lawmakers voted to force the last districts to offer 5-year-olds an education as part of a larger schools initiative.† Read more here.