From the HSLDA E-lert Service:


4/1/2003 2:52:57 PM
Home School Legal Defense Association
Maine--Vote Expected Friday on Compulsory Age Bill

From the HSLDA E-lert Service...

April 1, 2003

Dear HSLDA Members and Friends,

Legislative Document 390 threatens to add one year to the number of
years that our children are already subject to state control, raising
the age of compulsory attendance from 17 to 18 years of age. It is
vital that we stop this bill when the Committee on Education and
Cultural Affairs holds its work session this Friday, April 4 at 9:00


1. Call as many of the Education and Cultural Affairs Committee
members as you can and express your opposition to L.D. 390. Your
message can be as simple as:

"We urge you to vote against L.D. 390. It wastes taxpayers' money.
Statistics show that compelling 17 year olds to attend school does
not improve graduation rates."

Remember that this affects all parents, not just homeschoolers. It is
unnecessary to identify yourself as a homeschooler.

To leave a message for a committee member who is a representative,
call 1-800-423-2900. To leave a message for a committee member who
is a senator, call 1-800-423-6900.

Senator Neria R. Douglass (D-Androscoggin), Chair
Senator Michael F. Brennan (D-Cumberland)
Senator Betty Lou Mitchell (R-Penobscot)
Representative Glenn A. Cummings (D-Portland), Chair
Representative Rosita Gagne-Friel (D-Buckfield)
Representative Jacqueline R. Norton (D-Bangor)
Representative Jonathan Thomas (D-Orono)
Representative Edward D. Finch (D-Fairfield)
Representative Jeremy Fischer (D-Presque Isle)
Representative Thomas W. Murphy, Jr. (R-Kennebunk)*
Representative Mary Black Andrews (R-York)
Representative Mary Ellen Ledwin (R-Holden)
Representative Gerald M. Davis (R-Falmouth)

2. Pass this on to others. Remember that L.D. 390 would affect all
parents, not just those who homeschool.


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

This bill would require families to submit to another year 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 17 year old is
ready for college or the workforce. Some 17 year olds who are not
academically inclined benefit more from valuable work experience than
from being forced to sit in a classroom.

We oppose all attempts to expand the compulsory attendance age since
it would increase the years the state could potentially exercise
jurisdiction over our children because of an education-related issue.

Thank you for your efforts for freedom!


Scott A. Woodruff
HSLDA Staff Attorney

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