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5/13/2004 12:19:26 PM
Home School Legal Defense Association
Illinois--Calls Needed to Defeat Compulsory Attendance Bill

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From the HSLDA E-lert Service...
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May 13, 2004


Illinois--Calls Needed to Defeat Compulsory Attendance Bill


Dear HSLDA members and friends:

Your calls are needed to defeat Senate Bill 2918. S.B. 2918 raises
the compulsory attendance age from 16 to 17. This bill rapidly passed
the Senate and has now passed the House. If the Governor signs the
bill, it will subject homeschool students to the requirements for
private schools for another year.

Homeschoolers have defeated these compulsory attendance age bills
several times before. We can do it again!


ACTION REQUESTED

Call the Governor's office and urge him to veto S.B. 2918. You can
give him the following message in your own words.

"We urge you to vote against S.B. 2918 as it would waste taxpayer's
money. Statistics demonstrate that compelling 17 year olds to attend
school does not improve graduation rates."

You do not need to identify yourself as a homeschooler.

Governor Blagojevich's Office

Phone: (217) 782-0244

Office of the Governor
207 State House
Springfield, IL 62706

You can also email him at:

http://www.hslda.org/elink.asp?ID=1532


BACKGROUND

Here are some of the reasons HSLDA opposes S.B. 2918:

- Raising the compulsory attendance age from 16 to 17 would subject
Illinois home educators to the requirements for private school one
year later than now required. (You do not need to share this reason
with the Governor).

- 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=1533

Thank you for your efforts!


Sincerely,

Chris Klicka
Senior Counsel
Home School Legal Defense Association




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