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May 11, 2009

House Bill 2378: Lowers Compulsory School Attendance Age from 7 to 6

Author:
Representative Carolyn Tomei

Summary:
Representative Carolyn Tomei has introduced a bill which would lower the compulsory school attendance age from 7 to 6. If passed, House Bill 2378 would require children to attend school a full year earlier than they are currently required to.

Homeschool parents would be required to file a notice of intent when their child turns 6. In essence H.B. 2378 will add a full year for reporting for homeschool parents!

Additionally, taxes will inevitably go up to pay for the cost of this additional year of compulsory school attendance.

Status:

1/12/2009 (House) Introduced and referred to Committee on Education

HSLDA's Position:
HSLDA is opposed to H.B. 2378.

Action Requested:
No action is requested at this time.

Background:

Some of the problems with lowering the compulsory attendance are listed below.

  • Lowering the compulsory attendance age from 7 to 6 would subject Oregon home educators to the requirements of the homeschool laws one year earlier. Homeschool parents would be required to submit the notice of intent to their local ESD one year earlier than they do now.
  • 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 restrict parents’ freedom to decide if their children are ready for school While this bill has an “exception” provision for students who are enrolled in non-public or homeschools, it would still require all 6-year-olds to be enrolled in a homeschool program. As a result, a parent would now be required to file the IHIP, quarterly reports and achievement tests when their child reached 6 years of age. Consequently this would require homeschool parents to file for their children a year earlier that they do now! This would not be genuine exception.
  • 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.

For more information on compulsory attendance, please see our memorandum, “Early Education Shows No Benefit.”

 Other Resources

HSLDA Memo: Compulsory Attendance Age Legislation

Bill Text

Bill History