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1/27/2005 6:42:44 PM
Home School Legal Defense Association
Indiana--Urgent: Calls Needed to Defeat Compulsory Attendance Age Increase

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From the HSLDA E-lert Service...
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January 27, 2005


Indiana--Urgent: Calls Needed to Defeat Compulsory Attendance Age
Increase


Dear HSLDA members and friends:

Your help is urgently needed to stop House Bill 1530 which would
increase the compulsory school attendance age from 18 to 19. This bill
creates one more year of state "monitoring" of your children.

It would also force unwilling young adults to stay in school who might
be better off joining the workforce.

You may be told this bill is needed to reduce the number of dropouts.
HB 1530 will not solve the problem. Oregon compels attendance to age
18, but has the lowest high school completion rate in the country.
Maryland and North Dakota have the highest completion rates in the
nation, but they compel attendance only to age 16! Forcing unwilling
older teenagers to stay cooped up in a classroom will not reduce the
dropout rate.

Graduation is not a matter of "doing time"-- it is a matter of
learning. If an 18-year old is not learning in the classroom, staying
there longer does no one any good. In addition, taxes will rise
because more teachers and classrooms will be needed.

Time is of the essence because HB 1530 may come up for a vote on the
House floor as soon as Monday, January 31.


ACTION REQUESTED

1. Call your Representative and courteously express your opposition.
This bill affects all parents, so it is not necessary to identify
yourself as a homeschooler. Your message can be as simple as:

"I urge you to vote against HB 1530 which raises the compulsory
attendance age. It will waste taxpayers' money. Statistics show that
forcing older teenagers to attend school does not improve graduation
rates."

Go to our legislative toolbox at http://www.hslda.org/toolbox to find
out who your Representative is. Call (317) 232-9600 to contact any
Representative.

2. Pass this on to others and pray!


BACKGROUND

1. Raising the compulsory attendance age will not reduce the dropout
rate. In fact, the two states with the highest high school completion
rates (Maryland, 94.5% and North Dakota, 94.7%) compel attendance only
to age 16, but the state with the lowest completion rate (Oregon,
75.4%) compels attendance to age 18. These figures are three year
averages, 1996 through 1998.

2. Most states (29) only require attendance to age 16. Older children
who are unwilling to learn can cause classroom disruptions and even
violence, making learning harder for their classmates who truly want
to learn.

3. 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.

4. The bill would restrict parents' freedom to decide if their older
teenager is ready for college or the workforce. Some 18 year olds who
are not academically inclined benefit more from valuable work
experience than from being forced to sit in a classroom.

5. Current law requires students to attend school until age 18, or
graduation, or age 16 with parent and school approval. HB 1530 would
require students to attend until age 19, or graduation, or age 17 with
parent and school approval -- but those who leave school at 17 or 18
would lose their driver's license and work permits. No state currently
requires attendance until age 19.

6. The House Education Committee approved this bill January 26, but
apparently without giving the public any prior notice.

Thank you for working to protect freedom!

Sincerely,


Scott Woodruff
HSLDA Staff Attorney



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