The Home School Court Report
VOLUME XV, NUMBER 4
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JULY / AUGUST 1999
Cover
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Cover Story
What Did the Founders Say? A Strategy to Bring Original Intent Back to U.S. Courts

Special Features
House Protects Liberty—When Money Is at Stake

Debate: The Clash of Skill, Wit, and Ideas

PHC Breaks New Ground

Touched By An Angel Responds to Home Schooler’s Concerns

National Center Reports
Straight A’s Bill Introduced

Marriage Penalty Tax Relief

New Plan Allows SSN Alternative for IRS Deductions

The Beginning of the End:National Teaching Certificates and Goals 2000

Military Recuitment of Home Schoolers Increasing

Across the States
State by State

Regular Features
Press Clippings

A Contrario Sensu

Prayer and Praise

Litigation Report

President’s Page

H  O  M  E     S  C  H  O  O  L  I  N  G     N  E  W  S     F  R  O  M
Across the States
AL · CA · DE · GA · HI · ID · IL · KY · LA · MD · MS · MT · NC · NE · NV · NY · OH · OR · SC · SD · TN · TX · WV · WY

Home School Heartbeat in Idaho

Boise
KSPD
790
AM
Pocatello
KRTK
1490
AM
Idaho

If It’s Not Broken . . .
    Idaho families enjoy the freedom of a very good home school law. A great deal of peace of mind results when parents do not need to fear interference and intrusion into the home from local school districts. In this environment, it would be easy to forget that encroachment on freedoms can come from other sources—such as daytime curfews or state legislation.
    Home School Legal Defense Association is happy to report that one freedom—threatening bill failed to pass during the last legislative session. Senator Gary Schroeder (R-5) introduced a bill which would have increased the compulsory school age in Idaho from age 16 to 18. HSLDA attorney Michael Smith addressed a letter to Senator Schroeder outlining a number of our objections to raising the compulsory school age in Idaho:

  • Raising the compulsory attendance age will not increase the graduation rate or encourage students to stay longer in school.
  • To raise the compulsory attendance age goes against the trend in other states. Twenty-nine states have adopted 16 as the maximum age. Thirteen states, 18. Nine states, 17.
  • According to a report from the National Center for Home Education, the five states with the highest graduation rates have all adopted 16 as the maximum compulsory attendance age. Of the top ten states, only one requires young people to stay in school through age 18.
  • Of the three choices for maximum compulsory attendance age (16, 17 and 18), the highest graduation rate is 88.7% for the age 16 requirement—which happens to also be the current compulsory age in Idaho. Next is the age 18 requirement with 86.4% graduation rate and finally the age 17 requirement with 85.2%. More students are graduating in age 16 requirement states even though the students can legally drop out of school when they reach 16.
  • Requiring disinterested students to stay longer in school is disruptive to those students interested in getting a quality education, and school violence committed by students who don’t want to be there is increasing. As a matter of fact, to address this serious and growing problem, a Colorado state representative last year introduced a bill to do away with compulsory attendance.
  • Mature home school students ready to participate in the workforce by age 17 will be unnecessarily required to stay at home one more year.
    This bill failed to pass either house and will not be carried over into the next session. Constant vigilance and prayer for God’s grace is crucial in protecting our freedoms.