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Pennsylvania

December 4, 2008

House Bill 1143: An Act Lowering the Compulsory Attendance Age

Authors:
Representatives Mann, O'Brien, Belfanti, Bennington, Caltagirone, Carroll, Cohen, Costa, Curry, DeLuca, DePasquale, Fabrizio, Frankel, Freeman, Gergely, Grucela, James, Josephs, Kula, Mahoney, Melio, Preston, Roebuck, Samuelson, Saylor, Siptroth, Solobay, Sonney, Staback, Sturla, and Youngblood

Summary:
If enacted, House Bill 1143 would lower Pennsylvania’s compulsory school attendance age from 8 to 6. This means that home educators would be subject to Pennsylvania’s burdensome homeschool law two years earlier than is now required.

Status:

4/23/2007 Introduced and referred to the House Education Committee
11/30/2008 Legislation died when the House adjourned

HSLDA’s Position:
HSLDA opposes this legislation.

Action Requested:
None at this time.

Background:
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. The bill would restrict parents’ freedom to decide if their children are ready for school.

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 school.

 Other Resources

Bill Text    (requires Adobe Acrobat Reader)

Bill History