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Idaho

May 19, 2006

Senate Bill 1344: Early Education

Author:
Senate Education Committee

Summary:
Amends existing law to provide that school districts may offer services to children under the minimum school age of five years; and to specify conditions and limitations.

Status:

02/02/2006Senate introduced; first reading; to printing
01/03/2006Reported to Education
04/12/2006Bill died

HSLDA's Position:
Oppose.

Action Requested:
No action requested at this time.

Background:
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

Bill Text

Bill History