From the HSLDA E-lert Service:


4/12/2002 2:28:59 PM
Scott A. Woodruff, Esq., Staff Attorney of HSLDA
Washington, DC--Town Hall Meeting Wednesday Night on Mandatory Preschool Bill

From the HSLDA E-lert Service...

April 12, 2002

Dear HSLDA Members and Friends,

Councilmember Kevin Chavous wants to take away your freedom to decide
for yourself whether your 3 or 4 year old should go to school. He has
filed a bill, 14-261, which would force these children to attend
school even against the wishes of their parents. Half of the members
of the DC Council are ready to support this measure.


Councilmember Chavous wants to know what you think about his idea. He
has invited you to a Town Hall meeting this Wednesday, April 17, at
6:00 PM. It will be held at American University, Kay Spiritual Life
Center, 4400 Massachusetts Avenue NW. Please come to show your
opposition to the bill. If you do not come, he may construe this to
mean you support his idea.

There will be an opportunity for members of the audience to come to a
microphone to speak. If you do not wish to speak, you may be asked to
stand or raise your hand to show you oppose the bill.

Please pass this on to other parents you know who do not want to lose
the freedom to decide for themselves when their young children should
attend school.


The first Town Hall meeting on Bill 14-261 was March 28. I spoke
against the bill, as did Mike Rits of Bolling Area Home Educators,
and one other parent. Unfortunately, most of those who spoke thought
that forcing 3 and 4 year olds into school against their parents'
wishes would be good for them.

Study after study, however, shows that all the measurable benefits of
putting children into school this early disappear before the child
finishes elementary school. Other experts believe that forcing a
child into an academic setting this early can cause lifelong damage.
Visit our website for more information on this issue:

Dr. Jane Smith announced that the "Commission on Primary Education
Reform," (the group Chavous appointed, he said, to give
recommendations on implementing his plan) advised that the mandatory
feature of the bill be removed. The commission recommended that free
public education be available to all children 3 years old and older,
but that it not be mandatory. Nonetheless, Councilmember Chavous is
not backing down and continues to push for compulsory school
attendance of 3 and 4 year olds.

Please join us in the fight against Bill 14-261 by attending
Wednesday's meeting. Mandatory preschool is not the answer to
Washington DC's education problems.

Sincerely yours,

Scott A. Woodruff, Esq.

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