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Colorado

March 21, 2007

Senate Bill 16: Lowers Compulsory Attendance Age from 7 to 6

Author:
Senator Tapia, Representative Butcher

Summary:
S.B. 07-016 lowers compulsory age to 6 for all children in Colorado except for homeschoolers that file a notice of intent. Homeschoolers will need to notify a district of their intent to begin a non-public home-based educational program when their child is 6 but do not have to establish it until age 7.

Status:

1/10/2007Introduced, assigned to Senate Education Committee
1/25/2007(Senate) Education Committee Hearing
2/2/2007(Senate) Passed with Amendments
2/5/2007(House) Introduced in House, Assigned to House Education Committee
2/22/2007(House) House Education Committee Hearing—Passed
2/28/2007(House) House vote, passed
3/2/2007(House) Senate Concurred on House Amendments
3/16/2007Governor signed into law

HSLDA’s Position:
Neutral.

Action Requested:
No action requested at this time.

Background:
Many education experts have concluded that beginning a child’s formal education too early may actually result in burnout and poor scholastic performance later.

Lowering the compulsory attendance age erodes the authority of parents who are in the best position to determine when their child’s formal education should begin.

Another significant impact of expanding the compulsory attendance age would be an inevitable tax increase to pay for more classroom space and teachers to accommodate the additional students compelled to attend public schools. When California raised the age of compulsory attendance, unwilling students were so disruptive that new schools had to be built just to handle them and their behavior problems, all at the expense of the taxpayer.

For more information, see our issue analysis page on compulsory attendance.

 Other Resources

Bill Text    (requires Adobe Acrobat Reader)

Bill History