March 6, 2006

House File 2138: A Bill to Raise the Compulsory Attendance Age from 16 to 18 years

Representatives Struyk, Dandekar, and Huser

This bill would raise the compulsory attendance age from 16 to 18 years, which would mandate that parents submit their Competent Private Instruction report and testing requirements for their children for two extra years.


1/26/2006House, Introduced, referred to Education
2/02/2006House, Assigned to subcommittee: Tymeson, Cohoon, Roberts
2/16/2006House, Subcommittee Hearing, subcommittee decided to take no action on the bill
3/3/2006House, Crossover Day—Bill did not pass out of full committee; bill is dead

HSLDA's Position:

Action Requested:
Thank you for your phone calls!

A subcommittee of the House Education Committee met to consider House File 2138, which would have raised the compulsory attendance age from 16 to 18.

The subcommittee members decided to take no action on it, so the bill did not advance. We view this as a very positive sign, and hope it will lead to the bill being firmly and finally rejected.

Proponents of raising the compulsory attendance age claim it will lead to higher graduation rates. But the state with the highest graduation rate in the country, New Jersey, at 89%, only requires attendance to age 16. In addition, Florida requires attendance to age 18 but has one of the nation's lowest graduation rates at 59%.

The facts demonstrate that forcing unwilling students to stay in school longer does not increase graduation rates. Furthermore, it does not reduce juvenile crime.

In addition, it is certain that your tax bill will increase. When California raised its compulsory attendance age, taxpayers were forced to pay for a whole new school system to handle the numerous problems these unruly, unwilling students caused.

 Other Resources

Feb.-15-2006—Iowa—Calls Needed to Stop Rise in Compulsory Attendance Age

Feb.-24-2006—Iowa—Update: Subcommittee Sets Compulsory Attendance Bill Aside

Bill Text and History