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1/15/2004 5:19:43 PM
Home School Legal Defense Association
Nebraska--New Bill Aims to Restrict Homeschool Freedoms

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From the HSLDA E-lert Service...
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January 15, 2004

Dear HSLDA members and friends:

A bill has been introduced in the Nebraska legislature that would
significantly reduce a parent's right to control the education of
their children by raising the compulsory attendance age by two years.
Currently, Nebraska residents are required to provide their children
with education from age 7 to age 16, but Legislative Bill 868 would
raise this requirement to age 18.

This bill has been referred to the Education Committee. A public
hearing has been scheduled for January 20, 2004, at 1:30 p.m. in the
Capitol Room 1525. This committee hearing can be an excellent way to
voice your opposition to those who would limit homeschool freedoms!


Action Requested:

1. Call the members of the legislature's Committee on Education and
voice your opposition to LB 868. Tell them, "Please vote no on LB
868. It will increase taxes without improving education." The
members of the Education Committee are as follows:

Senator Ron Raikes, Chairperson (402) 471-2731
Senator Chip Maxwell, Vice Chairperson (402) 471-2723
Senator Patrick Bourne (402) 471-2722
Senator Kermit Brashear (402) 471-2621
Senator Dennis Byers (402) 471-2620
Senator Vickie McDonald (402) 471-2631
Senator Ed Schrock (402) 471-2732
Senator Elaine Stuhr (402) 471-2756


2. If possible, make plans to attend the hearing on LB 868 on
January 20 at the Capitol in Lincoln. For more information, call
Senator Raikes' office at (402) 471-2731.


Background:

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

- 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 greatly from valuable work experience
rather than being forced to sit in a classroom. In addition, many
gifted homeschool students are more than ready for college at age 16.

- Another significant impact of expanding the compulsory attendance
age would be an inevitable tax increase to pay for more classroom
space and teachers to accommodate the additional students compelled
to attend public schools. 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.

For the text of LB 868, go to
http://www.unicam.state.ne.us/pdf/INTRO_LB868.pdf.

Thank you for standing with us to support freedom!

Sincerely,

Scott Somerville
HSLDA Staff Attorney



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