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1/30/2004 5:03:09 PM
Home School Legal Defense Association
New York--Urgent! Calls Needed to Stop Bill Raising the Compulsory Attendance Age

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From the HSLDA E-lert Service...
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January 30, 2004


Dear HSLDA members and friends,

We need your calls immediately to stop Assembly Bill 1892-A and to
prevent every school district in New York from being able to raise
the compulsory attendance age from 16 to 17! This bill is on a fast
track since it has already passed the Assembly.

If enacted into law, Assembly Bill 1892-A would allow your district
to require minors from sixteen to seventeen years of age, who are not
employed, to attend school--this means your school district would
have control over your homeschool for another year. One more year of
filling out IHIP forms!

Assembly Bill 1892-A has been sent to the entire Senate for its third
and final reading on Monday, February 2, 2004. We can stop it with
your help!


REQUESTED ACTION

Please call your local State senator at his or her Albany phone
number with this message:

"Please oppose Assembly Bill 1892-A, listed as no. 95 on the Senate
calendar. Expanding compulsory attendance would only waste taxpayers'
money, force unwilling, disruptive students into the classroom, and
take away the right of parents to decide whether their 16 year old is
ready for college."

You do not need to identify yourself as a homeschooler.

You can find your own senator's phone number either by calling
Legislative Assistance and Services office at (518) 455-3216 or by
using HSLDA's legislative toolbox at http://www.hslda.org/toolbox.


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 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.)

- Twenty-nine states 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.

- It would restrict parents' freedom to decide if their 16 year old
is ready for college.

- 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 more information on compulsory attendance, please see our
memorandum at http://www.hslda.org/elink.asp?ID=1298


Sincerely,

Thomas J. Schmidt
HSLDA Staff Attorney



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