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Hawaii

May 16, 2006

House Bill 61: Five-Year-Olds Required to Attend School

Author:
Representative Mark Takai and Representative Dennis Arakai

Summary:
Due to hundreds of phone calls from homeschoolers and other concerned parents this bill has been held in the House Education committee and is likely dead. However, since this bill was carried over to the 2006 session HSLDA continued to closely monitor the bill. Fortunately, no action was taken on it this session.

On February 2, 2005, the House Education Committee voted 7-0 that House Bill 61 be “held”. We were told from members who were at the meeting that the Committee Chairman, Representative Roy M. Takumi, acknowledged that the legislature had received quite a few calls about this bill. HSLDA thanks Lora Burbage of Christian Homeschoolers of Hawaii who informed the Committee Chairman of our concerns about this bill.

House Bill 61 would have expanded the jurisdiction and control of the public school authorities over your five year olds and eroded the right of parents to determine when a child is ready for formal education. Home educators would also have been subject to the reporting and evaluation requirements of the homeschool laws one year earlier.

House Bill 61 would expand the jurisdiction and control of the public school authorities over your five year olds and erode the right of parents to determine when a child is ready for formal education. Home educators would also be subject to the reporting and evaluation requirements of the homeschool laws one year earlier.

The Senate had introduced an identical bill, SB 488. For more information on this bill see Senate Bill 488: Five-Year-Olds Required to Attend School

Status:

01/20/2005Introduced and Pass First Reading
01/21/2005Referred to House Education and Finance Committees
01/25/2005Bill scheduled to be heard by House Education Committee on Saturday, 01-29-05 at 9:00 am in House conference room 309.
01/29/2005The committees on EDN recommend that the measure be HELD. The votes were as follows: 7 Ayes: Takumi, Berg, Green, Shimabukuro, Waters, Ching, Finnegan; Ayes with reservations: none; 0 Noes: none; and 5 Excused: Arakaki, Cabanilla, Chang, Hale, Kahikina.
The Hawaii Legislature adjourned sine die on May 5, 2005. A special session was held on July 12, 2005, for action on vetoed legislation.

HSLDA's Position:
This bill was opposed.

Action Requested:
No action required as this bill is dead.

Background:
- Lowering the compulsory attendance age from six to five would have subjected Hawaii home educators to the requirements of the homeschool laws one year earlier.

- 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.

- It would have restricted parents' freedom to decide if their children are ready for school

- Another significant impact of expanding the compulsory attendance age would have been the inevitable tax increase to pay for more classroom space and teachers to accommodate the additional students compelled to attend public schools

 Other Resources

Feb-04-2005 — Hawaii--Victory in the House! Calls Still Needed in the Senate

Feb-02-2005 — Hawaii--Urgent! More Calls Needed: To Stop Five-Year-Olds Being Required to Attend School

Jan-26-2005 — Hawaii--Calls Needed: To Stop Five-Year-Olds Being Required to Attend School

Senate Bill 488

Bill Text

Bill History