The Home School Court Report
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MAY / JUNE 2002
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In the hands of providence

From pickup trucks and shotgun racks to a new attitude

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H.B. 795 defeated again

For the second year in a row, Illinois home schoolers have defeated a measure to lower the state compulsory attendance age from age 7 to 6.

Last year, they stopped House Bill 795 dead in the Senate Rules Committee, but a new sponsor, Senator Kimberly Lightford, revived the legislation in 2002. Home School Legal Defense Association and Christian Home Educators Coalition of Illinois immediately alerted our members to urge their senators to vote against H.B. 795.

HSLDA opposes expanding the compulsory attendance laws for many reasons:

  • Changing the compulsory attendance age would subject Illinois home educators to the requirements of the compulsory attendance law one year earlier.

  • 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.

  • Expanding the compulsory attendance age would bring an inevitable tax increase to pay for more classroom space and more teachers to accommodate the additional students compelled to attend public schools.

    After senators reported receiving hundreds of calls, HSLDA was informed the bill was not going to move forward, thanks to the dedication of concerned Illinois home schoolers.

    - Christopher J. Klicka