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2/11/2005 12:35:12 PM
Home School Legal Defense Association
Vermont--Calls Needed to Stop Compulsory Attendance Age Expansion!

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From the HSLDA E-lert Service...
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February 11, 2005


Vermont--Calls Needed to Stop Compulsory Attendance Age Expansion!


Dear HSLDA members and friends:

House Bill 180 would raise the compulsory attendance age from 16 to
18. This bill is currently before the House Education Committee, where
your calls are needed to defeat it!


ACTION REQUESTED

Please call the Sergeant at Arms and leave a message for the House
Education Committee. Please give the committee this message, "House
Bill 180 would increase Vermont's budget dramatically while failing to
provide results. Please vote 'No' on this bill!" To reach the
Sergeant at Arms, call 802-828-2228 or fax 802-828-2424.

House Education Committee:

Representative Cross, Chair
Representative LaVoie, Vice-Chair
Representative Barnard
Representative Clark
Representative Endres
Representative Jerman
Representative Kilmartin
Representative Livingston
Representative McLaughlin
Representative Mook
Representative Potter


BACKGROUND

- Raising compulsory attendance from 16 to 18 would subject Vermont
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 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.

Sincerely,


Scott Somerville
HSLDA Staff Attorney



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