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April 11, 2003

Senate Bill 30: Lowers the Compulsory Attendance Age

Author:
Senator Judith Zaffirini

Summary:
This bill lowers the compulsory attendance age from six years to five and makes kindergarten mandatory in certain situations.

Status:
11/12/2002: Introduced
01/27/2003: Referred to Senate Education Committee

Action Requested:
Please call as many members of the SENATE EDUCATION COMMITTEE listed below as you can (as well as the bill's sponsor) and give them this message: "Please vote against S.B. 30. This bill is unnecessary, restricts parental choice, and wastes taxpayers money."

Senate Education Committee:
Senator Florence Shapiro, Chair, (512) 463-0108
Senator Royce West, Vice Chair, (512) 463-0123
Senator Kip Averitt, (512) 463-0122
Senator Kyle Janek, (512) 463-0117
Senator Steve Ogden, (512) 463-0105
Senator Todd Staples, (512) 463-0103
Senator Leticia Van de Putte, (512) 463-0126
Senator Tommy Williams, (512) 463-0104

Sponsor:
Senator Judith Zaffirini, (512) 463-0121

HSLDA's Position:
HSLDA opposes this bill.

Background:
Changing the compulsory attendance age would subject Texas home educators to the requirements of a compulsory attendance law one year earlier. Many education experts have concluded that beginning a child's formal education too early may actually result in burn out and poor scholastic performance later. In addition, 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 the inevitable tax increase to pay for more classroom space and more teachers to accommodate the additional students. This point may be most significant this year in light of the fact that there is a budget deficit and many of the legislators will be reluctant to increase government programs such as this one.

For a more detailed analysis of mandatory kindergarten, read our memo at: http://www.hslda.org/docs/nche/000000/00000028.asp

 Other Resources

6/10/2003 - Texas--Legislature Now Closed for 2003

3/11/2003 - Texas--Legislative Update: Partial Victory in Homeschool Registration Battle

2/3/2003 - Texas--Lowering Compulsory School Attendance Age

Bill Text

HSLDA Analysis of Mandatory Kindergarten