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1/19/2005 3:20:39 PM
Home School Legal Defense Association
Wyoming--Bill Introduced to Restrict Parental Freedoms

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From the HSLDA E-lert Service...
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January 19, 2005


Wyoming--Bill Introduced to Restrict Parental Freedoms


Dear HSLDA members and friends:

House Bill 231 would expand the compulsory attendance law in Wyoming
from 16, or 10th grade, to 18 or 12th grade. By adding two more years
of required education, it would restrict a parent's right to direct
the education of their high school age students.


REQUESTED ACTION:

Please call the Wyoming voter hotline, (307) 777-8683, and give this
message to the members of the House Education Committee, "HB 231 would
limit the freedom of parents and cost the state millions of dollars,
without improving education. Please vote 'No' on HB 231!"

House Education Committee:

Jeff Wasserburger
Kurt Bucholz
W. Patrick Goggles
Debbie Hammons
Steve Harshman
Becket Hinckley
Del McOmie
Lorraine Quarberg
Mark Semlek


BACKGROUND:

- Raising compulsory attendance from 17 to 18 would subject Wyoming
home educators to the requirements of the homeschool statute for two
additional years. (You do not need to share this reason with your
legislators.)

- 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. These figures represent 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/docs/nche/Issues/M/Mandatory_School_Age.asp


Sincerely,

Scott Somerville
HSLDA Staff Attorney
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