From the HSLDA E-lert Service:
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Date:
From:
Subject:

3/28/2002 9:51:39 AM
Scott A. Woodruff, Esq., Staff Attorney of HSLDA
Missouri--Calls and Visits Needed on H.B. 1460 and S.B. 858

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From the HSLDA E-lert Service...
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March 28, 2002

Dear Missouri Members and Friends,

The legislature is attempting to limit parental rights. Time is short
for us to oppose House Bill 1460 and Senate Bill 858. While the
Missouri legislature is on Easter break (until April 2), legislators
are back in their home districts, giving us a great opportunity to
contact them personally regarding these bills.

H.B. 1460 is on the "perfection" calendar for April 2, meaning that
any House member can offer amendments when the bill is heard, and the
full House could vote to pass the bill. S.B. 858 has passed committee
and is waiting to be placed on the Senate's calendar for action.

H.B. 1460 and S.B. 858 are identical bills that would allow
metropolitan school districts to increase the age of compulsory
attendance from 16 to 17. For the reasons detailed below, HSLDA
strongly opposes these bills.

ACTION REQUESTED

1. Please call your senator and representative and give them this
message:

"Please oppose the compulsory attendance age bill S.B. 858. This bill
is unnecessary, restricts parental choice, and wastes taxpayer
money." (Refer to H.B. 1460 when you call your representative.) You
do not need to identify yourself as a home schooler. If you do not
know who your senator or representative is you can locate them
through HSLDA's "Legislative Toolbox" located at:
http://www.hslda.org/toolbox.

2. Plan to visit your representative and senator while they are back
in their home district. Personal visits are the best way to influence
your elected officials.

3. When the legislature reconvenes on April 2, call the Missouri
capitol switchboard at 573-751-3659 and ask to be connected to your
state representative or senator, then relay the message above

REASONS TO OPPOSE THESE BILLS

1. Both bills carefully exclude home schoolers creating a "loophole"
that will seriously damage the reputation of home schooling families
in Missouri. If dropouts can avoid compulsory attendance by saying
that they are home schooling, they will do so. We must not let this
happen.

2. Children are BEST educated when PARENTS have the freedom to make
individual choices regarding their children's education. These bills
further limit the cherished right of parents to determine what is
best for their children. When parental freedoms are respected, some
parents will choose to continue educating their children beyond the
age of compulsory attendance. Others, including those with children
who have excelled academically as many home schoolers do, will cease
education when the child reaches the age of compulsory attendance.
This decision must remain the prerogative of the parent, not the
state. Raising the compulsory attendance age limits parental choice
regarding the education of their children, thereby diminishing the
effectiveness of education.

3. If these bills are enacted, the compulsory attendance age will be
fragmented across the state. This would be especially problematic for
families who move from one school district to another. If a family
with a 16-year-old graduate moves from a district with a compulsory
age of 16 to a district with a compulsory age of 17, they would be
required to continue the formal education of this student because of
the higher compulsory age. A family will no longer know for certain
what the compulsory attendance age is in the district they live in
unless they contact the school district.

4. Fracturing the compulsory attendance age will create confusion
regarding employment of 16 year olds.

5.. It is improper to delegate authority to a school district to
restrict parental choice regarding the education of their children.
Changes to the compulsory attendance law should be made by the
legislature, and not be left to the whim of local school officials.

You can read the text of H.B. 1460 at:
http://www.house.state.mo.us/bills02/bills02/hb1460.htm.

Read the text of S.B. 858 at:
http://www.senate.state.mo.us/02info/bills/sb858.htm.

For more information on why compulsory attendance ages should not be
raised, see Mandatory Kindergarten Is Unnecessary at
http://www.hslda.org/elink.asp?ID=373.

Thank you for standing with us for freedom.

Sincerely yours,

Scott A. Woodruff, Esq.

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