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2/20/2004 4:32:26 PM
Home School Legal Defense Association
Arizona--Oppose Raising the Compulsory Attendance Age!

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From the HSLDA E-lert Service...
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February 20, 2004


Arizona--Oppose Raising the Compulsory Attendance Age!


Dear HSLDA members and friends:

A bill has been introduced in the House of Representatives that would
raise the compulsory attendance age in Arizona from 16 to 18.
Informed observers believe this is unlikely to pass because it is so
expensive. We are asking homeschoolers to call the members of the
Education Committee to put a stop to this bill now.


Action Requested:

Please call the members of the Education Committee. Tell them,
"Please vote no on HB 2548. This bill would increase expenses
without improving education."

Rep. Linda Gray, Chair (602) 926-3376
Rep. Warde Nichols, Vice-Chair (602) 926-5168
Rep. John M. Allen (602) 926-3395
Rep. Bill Arnold (602) 926-5894
Rep. Tom Boone (602) 926-3297
Rep. Olivia Cajero Bedford (602) 926-5835
Rep. James R. Carruthers (602) 926-5273
Rep. Ted Downing (602) 926-5108
Rep. John Huppenthal (602) 926-5898
Rep. Linda Lopez (602) 926-4089
Rep. Ben R. Miranda (602) 926-4893
Rep. Steven B. Yarbrough (602) 926-5863


Background:

- (You do not need to share this reason with your legislators.)
Raising the compulsory attendance age from 16 to 18 would would
subject Arizona home educators to the requirements of the homeschool
statute for two years beyond that which is currently required.

- 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.

For more information on compulsory attendance, please see our
memorandum at http://www.hslda.org/elink.asp?ID=1341


Sincerely,

Scott Somerville
HSLDA Staff Attorney



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