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3/19/2003 4:58:01 PM
Home School Legal Defense Association
New Hampshire--Calls Needed, Vote Tomorrow on Compulsory Attendance Bill

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From the HSLDA E-lert Service...
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March 19, 2003

Dear HSLDA Members and Friends,

On March 12, the New Hampshire Senate Education Committee voted in
favor of Senate Bill 55. On March 20, the full senate is scheduled
to vote on the bill. It is of utmost importance that your senator
knows you oppose this bill.

S.B. 55 would raise the age of compulsory school attendance from 16
to 18 years of age for both homeschoolers and others. This would add
two more years to the time during which children and their parents
could be subjected to court jurisdiction because of education issues.
It would take away the right of parents to decide whether their 16 or
17 year old will pursue formal education or vocational preparation.

ACTION REQUESTED

1. Call your senator and express your opposition to S.B. 55. Visit
www.hslda.org/toolbox and enter your zip code to find the name and
contact information for your state Senator. You can also call the
Senate Clerk's Office 603-271-3420 for this information. Since this
affects all people, not just homeschoolers, it is not necessary to
identify yourself as a homeschooler.

Your message can be as simple as:

"I urge you to vote against S.B. 55, which would raise the age of
compulsory attendance. It undermines the power of parents to decide
what is best for their children. It wastes taxpayers' money.
Statistics show that compelling 16 and 17 year olds to attend school
does not improve graduation rates.

Remember that your senator may not yet be familiar with the bill.

2. Pass this on to others. 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.

S.B. 55 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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