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Expanding compulsory attendance age

Two bills introduced in the Alaska Legislature would lower the compulsory attendance age for children.

Sponsored by Senator Bettye Davis, Senate Bill 41 would lower the compulsory attendance age from seven to five. It would also require every school district to offer a kindergarten program.

Senate Bill 11, sponsored by Senator Gene Therriault, would lower the compulsory attendance age from seven to six.

Home School Legal Defense Association believes home educators should oppose both bills since they are an expansion of government control over education. Parents, not public school officials, are best able to decide when a child is ready for formal education. Additionally, lowering the compulsory attendance age would require more classroom space, more teachers, and more tax revenue to pay these expenses. — Dewitt T. Black