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Date:
From:
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2/3/2003 5:48:17 PM
Home School Legal Defense Association
New Hampshire--Calls Needed to Defeat Bill Expanding Compulsory Attendance

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From the HSLDA E-lert Service...
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Dear HSLDA Members and Friends,

Each year HSLDA works to defeat legislation that would expand the
government's control over school-age children. Senate Bill 55 raises
the age of compulsory school attendance from 16 years of age to 18
years of age. This would apply to all children in the state,
including homeschoolers. Christian Home Educators of New Hampshire
is also working to defeat this bill.

We oppose all attempts to expand the compulsory attendance age since
it would increase the years the state has jurisdiction over our
children. S.B. 55 will receive a hearing in the Senate Education
Committee Wednesday, February 5 at 1:45 PM.

ACTION REQUESTED

1. Attend the committee meeting to show your opposition. It will be
in room 105-A in the State House.

2. Call as many of the Education Committee senators listed as you can
and express your opposition to S.B. 55:

"We urge you to vote against S.B. 55 as it wastes taxpayers' money.
Statistics demonstrate that compelling 16 and 17 year olds to attend
school does not improve graduation rates."

Education Committee:
Jane E. O'Hearn, Chairman
(603) 271-3041
(603) 889-6036 (Home)

Carl R. Johnson, Vice Chairman
(603) 271-2641
(603) 279-6492 (Home)

Joseph A. Foster
(603) 271-2674
(603) 891-0307 (Home)

Richard Green
(603) 271-2642
(603) 332-1567 (Home)

Sylvia B. Larsen
(603) 271-3076

3. Pass this on to others. Remember that S.B. 55 would affect all
parents, not just those who homeschool.

BACKGROUND

Raising the compulsory attendance age will not reduce the dropout
rate. In fact, the two states with the highest high school completion
rates (Maryland, 94.5% and North Dakota, 94.7%) compel attendance
only to age 16, but the state with the lowest completion rate
(Oregon, 75.4%) compels attendance to age 18. (Figures are three year
averages, 1996 through 1998.)

Most states (29) only require attendance to age 16. Older children
who are unwilling to learn can cause classroom disruptions and even
violence, making learning harder for their classmates who truly want
to learn.

When California raised the age of compulsory attendance, unwilling
students were so disruptive that new schools had to be built just to
handle them and their behavior problems, all at the expense of the
taxpayer.

This bill would require homeschool families to submit to another 2
years of governmental red tape and threat of legal action in the
event of an alleged violation.

It would restrict parents' freedom to decide if their 16 year old is
ready for college or the workforce. Some 16 year olds who are not
academically inclined benefit more from valuable work experience than
from being forced to sit in a classroom.

Thank you for your efforts for freedom!

Sincerely,

Scott A. Woodruff
HSLDA Staff Attorney

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