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2/28/2003 5:09:57 PM
Home School Legal Defense Association
Illinois--Bill Would Raise Compulsory School Age

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From the HSLDA E-lert Service...
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February 28, 2003

Dear HSLDA Members and Friends,

Each year Home School Legal Defense Association works to defeat
legislation that would expand the government's control over school
age children. Illinois House Bill 2584 raises the age of compulsory
school attendance from 16 years of age to 18. This would apply to all
children in the state, including homeschoolers. The bill has now
been assigned to the Elementary and Secondary Education Committee for
consideration. The committee will be conducting a hearing on March
5, 2003, during which H.B. 2584 will be discussed.

We oppose all attempts to expand the compulsory attendance age since
it increases the years the state will have jurisdiction over our
children.

ACTION REQUESTED

1) Call as many of the Elementary and Secondary Education Committee
representatives listed as you can before March 5 and express your
opposition to H.B. 2584. In particular, be certain call the
representative on the committee who represents your legislative
district.

"We urge you to vote against H.B. 2584 as it would waste taxpayer's
money. Statistics demonstrate that compelling 17 year olds to attend
school does not improve graduation rates."

You do not need to identify yourself as a homeschooler.

Chairperson : Calvin L. Giles (217) 782 5962
Vice Chairperson : Monique D. Davis (217) 782 0010
Suzanne Bassi (217) 782 8026
Annazette Collins (217) 782 8077
Marlow H. Colvin (217) 782 8272
Roger L. Eddy (217) 782 1040
Gary Forby (217) 782 1051
Kevin Carey Joyce (217) 782 8200
Renee Kosel (217) 782 0424
Carolyn H. Krause (217) 782 3739
David E. Miller (217) 782 8087
Jerry L. Mitchell (217) 782 0535
Donald L. Moffitt (217) 782 8032
Rosemary Mulligan (217) 782 8007
Harry Osterman (217) 782 8088
Michael K. Smith (217) 782 8152
Jim Watson (217) 782 1840
Karen A. Yarbrough (217) 782 8120

2) You may want to call the sponsor of H.B. 2584 to see if he would
withdraw his bill. Deliver the following message in your own words:

"Please withdraw H.B. 2584. We oppose this bill because it will limit
parent's choice and disrupt the classroom by compelling disinterested
children to attend school."

Sponsor:
Rep. Arthur Turner, (217) 782 8116

BACKGROUND

H.B. 2584 would require homeschool families to submit to two more
years of governmental oversight and threat of legal action in the
event of an alleged violation. Here are some more reasons HSLDA
opposes measures to raise the compulsory attendance age:

Raising the compulsory attendance age results in a negative financial
impact on taxpayers by requiring the state to hire more teachers and
build larger education facilities to accommodate the increased number
of students.

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.)

Some people argue that raising the compulsory attendance age is good
because having children in school for one or two more years will
prevent juvenile crime. However, a comparison of the fifty states
shows that the graduation age has little to no impact on a state's
juvenile crime rate.

Most states (29) only require attendance to age 16. Older children
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.

It would restrict parents' freedom to decide if their 16 or 17 year
old is ready for 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,

Christopher Klicka
HSLDA Senior Counsel

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