Like a lot of people, Assemblyman Charles Mainor had no idea that kids in the Garden State do not have to go to kindergarten. Mainor and a trio of other Assembly members have introduced a bill to force children to go to kindergarten and to lower the age at which they have to start attending school.

(Catherine Yeulet, ThinkStock)

"When I found out that kindergarten wasn't mandatory in the state of New Jersey I was stunned," said Mainor (D-Jersey City). "My bill would mandate that every public school district would have to offer kindergarten."

Getting kids to start learning at an early age is critical, according to Mainor, and he said the sooner children begin interacting with others the sooner they will start developing important social skills.

"When we have people talking about longer school years and longer school days, why isn't kindergarten mandatory," Mainor asked. "My bill would also make it mandatory for a child to have to go to school in the state of New Jersey from the age of 5 to the age of 16."

Under current law in the Garden State, a child is not required to start attending school until he or she is 6 years old.

The legislation is co-sponsored by Assembly members Pat Diegnan (D-South Plainfield), Sheila Oliver (D-East Orange) and Bonnie Watson Coleman (D-Trenton).