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2/3/2003 1:58:47 PM
Home School Legal Defense Association
Texas--Lowering Compulsory School Attendance Age

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From the HSLDA E-lert Service...
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February 3, 2003

Dear HSLDA Members and Friends,

Senator Judith Zaffirini is back. Once again, this senator is trying
to impose mandatory kindergarten on all families in Texas. Her
recently introduced legislation, Senate Bill 30, lowers the
compulsory attendance age from six years old to five, and makes
kindergarten mandatory in certain situations.

S.B. 30 was referred to the Senate Education Committee on January 27.
Your calls are needed to make sure that this bill goes no further.

ACTION REQUESTED

Please call as many members of the SENATE EDUCATION COMMITTEE listed
below as you can (as well as the bill's sponsor) and give them this
message: "Please vote against S.B. 30. This bill is unnecessary,
restricts parental choice, and wastes taxpayers money."

Senate Education Committee:
Senator Florence Shapiro, Chair, (512) 463-0108
Senator Royce West, Vice Chair, (512) 463-0123
Senator Kip Averitt, (512) 463-0122
Senator Kyle Janek, (512) 463-0117
Senator Steve Ogden, (512) 463-0105
Senator Todd Staples, (512) 463-0103
Senator Leticia Van de Putte, (512) 463-0126
Senator Tommy Williams, (512) 463-0104

Sponsor:
Senator Judith Zaffirini, (512) 463-0121

BACKGROUND

Changing the compulsory attendance age would subject Texas home
educators to the requirements of a compulsory attendance law one year
earlier. Many education experts have concluded that beginning a
child's formal education too early may actually result in burn out
and poor scholastic performance later. In addition, 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.

Another significant impact of expanding the compulsory attendance age
would be the inevitable tax increase to pay for more classroom space
and more teachers to accommodate the additional students. This point
may be most significant this year in light of the fact that there is
a budget deficit and many of the legislators will be reluctant to
increase government programs such as this one.

Check the HSLDA website for updates on S.B. 30 at:
http://www.hslda.org/Legislation/State/tx/2003/TXSB30/default.asp

For a more detailed analysis of mandatory kindergarten, read our memo
at: http://www.hslda.org/docs/nche/000000/00000028.asp

Thank you for standing with us for freedom in Texas!

Very truly yours,

Chris Klicka
HSLDA Senior Counsel

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