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Idaho

May 19, 2006

Senate Bill 1241: Early Education

Author:
Senator Schroeder

Summary:
Adds to existing law to provide a minimum age requirement for attendance in pre-kindergarten in school districts which conduct pre-kindergarten.

Status:

01/10/2006Senate introduced; first reading; to printing
01/11/2006Reported to Education
03/03/2006Reported out to 14th Order
03/07/2006To Senate Floor
03/07/2006Bill died

HSLDA's Position:
Oppose.

Action Requested:
No action requested at this time.

Background:
Senator Schroeder has brought S.B. 1241 up for a hearing. This bill, for the first time, would permit public schools to offer pre-kindergarten programs to students as young as four years of age. This is a first step in ultimately lowering even further the compulsory age for all students including those taught at home.

While the bill purports to make these programs optional, history shows us that there will be subsequent pressure to make them mandatory, universal, and funded with taxpayer dollars.

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 on compulsory attendance, please see our memorandum "Mandatory Kindergarten Is Unnecessary."

 Other Resources

Mar.-7-2006—Idaho—Calls Needed to Prevent Expansion of Compulsory Attendance Age

Bill Text

Bill History