December 20, 2004

House Bill 36: Lowering the Compulsory Attendance Age

Representative Roebuck.

This bill would have lowered the compulsory age from eight to six, further eroding the right of parents to determine when a child is ready for formal education and subjecting home educators to reporting, record keeping, and evaluations two years earlier than now required.

The bill was amended to exempt home educators from the proposed law so long as they notified the school district of their homeschooling. While this amendment was better than having to fully comply with the home education law beginning at age six, it still required parents to provide certain information to public school officials.


01/29/2003Introduced and referred to House Education Committee
03/17/2004Passed as amended out of Education Committee
03/17/2004First consideration
05/10/2004Second Consideration
05/10/2004Re-referred to Appropriations Committee
12/01/2004Died when legislature adjourned

Action Requested:

HSLDA's Position:

Reasons we oppose this bill:
- Lowering the compulsory attendance age from eight to six would subject Pennsylvania home educators to the requirements of the homeschool statute two years earlier and one year later than now required. (You do not need to share this reason with your legislators.)

- 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.

 Other Resources

Mar-18-2004 — House Bill 36 Passes House Education Committee

Mar-15-2004 — Calls Needed:Attempts to Expand Compulsory Attendance Age

Bill Text

Bill History

Bill Text   (requires Adobe Acrobat Reader)