LANSING -

The Michigan Senate has passed legislation that would move up the date by which a child needs to turn five in order to enter kindergarten.

The bills passed unanimously on Thursday would move the date up by one month each of the next three years so children would have to be 5 years old as of Sept. 1 in order to enroll in kindergarten.

Current law allows children to enter kindergarten if they are five by Dec. 1.

The legislation aims to ensure that children are ready for school. Evart Republican Sen. Darwin Booher says research shows delaying kindergarten by as few as three months leads to significantly improved test scores.

The legislation now goes to the House, where two similar bills are under consideration.