From the HSLDA E-lert Service:


1/30/2004 5:34:52 PM
Home School Legal Defense Association
South Dakota--Calls Urgently Needed to Stop Compulsory Attendance Bill

From the HSLDA E-lert Service...

January 30, 2004

Dear South Dakota HSLDA members and friends:

A bill that would increase the compulsory attendance age from 16 to
18 is scheduled for a hearing. Your help is needed immediately to
stop this attempt to undermine parental authority over our teenagers.

The House Education Committee's hearing on House Bill (H.B.) 1230, is
scheduled for Tuesday, February 3, 2004.


1. Please call your Representative, if he or she is listed below as
a member of the House Education Committee, and give him or her a
message such as:

"Please oppose the compulsory attendance age bill H.B. 1230. This
bill is unnecessary, restricts parental choice, and wastes taxpayer
money." You do not need to identify yourself as a homeschooler. If
you do not know who your senator or representative is you can locate
them through HSLDA's "Legislative Toolbox" located at:

2. Please come to the hearing on Tuesday to demonstrate your
conviction that parents alone should determine whether 16 and 17 year
olds should receive formal education or some other form of
preparation for adult responsibilities. The hearing will be in room
412 at 10 A.M.

3. Please pass this on to others. Time is short. This bill affects
everyone who believes parents, not bureaucrats, should guide the
future of 16 and 17 year olds.

South Dakota House of Representatives Education Committee Members:

Tim Begalka: Home: 605-874-2288

Jim Bradford: Home: 605-867-5369

Mike Buckingham: Home: 605-343-7657

Joel D. Dykstra: Home: 605-764-6399

Burt Elliot: Home: 605-225-7136

Jeffrey K. Haverly: Home: 605-390-5839

Phyllis M. Heineman, Chair: Home: 605-339-2167

Kent Juhnke, Vice-Chair: Home: 605-683-6661

Maurice LaRue: Home: 605-720-2353

Matt McCaulley: Home: 605-728-7399

Alice McCoy: Home: 605-716-6814

Ed McLaughlin: Home: 605-343-8713

Donna Schafer: Home: 605-624-4819

Bill Thompson: Home: 605-339-9836

Thomas J. Van Norman: Home: 605-964-8665

On Monday, please call the State Capitol at 605-773-3851, and ask to
leave a message for your representative listed above.


- 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 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.

- 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.

You can read the text of the bill at

Thank you for standing with us for freedom.

Sincerely yours,

Scott A. Woodruff, Esq.
HSLDA Staff Attorney

The HSLDA E-lert Service is a service of:

Home School Legal Defense Association
P.O. Box 3000
Purcellville, Virginia 20134
Phone: (540) 338-5600
Fax: (540) 338-2733

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