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2/23/2005 11:21:56 AM
Home School Legal Defense Association
Illinois--Calls Needed Now to Stop Expansion of Compulsory Attendance

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From the HSLDA E-lert Service...
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February 23, 2005


Illinois--Calls Needed Now to Stop Expansion of Compulsory Attendance


Dear HSLDA members and friends:

We need you to call the Senate Elementary and Secondary Education
Committee immediately. A hearing is scheduled for this Thursday to
pass Senate Bill 409 which will lower the compulsory attendance age
from 7 to 5. Homeschoolers defeated this bill in 2001 against great
odds.

With your help we can defeat it again.

This bill poses a threat to homeschoolers because it expands the
state's jurisdiction over all children by subjecting 5 year-olds to
the compulsory attendance law.

Home School Legal Defense Association and Illinois Christian Home
Education Coalition (ILCHEC) urge you to take a moment and call your
state senator to stop this encroachment on your freedom.

If we act now, we have a good opportunity to defeat this bill in the
Senate Elementary and Secondary Education Committee.


ACTION REQUESTED

1) Please call as many Senate Elementary and Secondary Education
Committee members as possible and give them this message:

"Please vote against SB 409, which lowers the compulsory attendance
age. This bill is unnecessary. It restricts parental choice and
wastes taxpayer money."

Do not identify yourself as a homeschooler.

Members of the Senate Elementary and Secondary Education Committee:

Senator Kimberly Lightford, Chairperson
(217) 782-8505

Senator Miguel del Valle, Vice-Chair
(217) 782-5652

Senator Deanna Demuzio
(217) 782-8206

Senator Gary Forby
(217) 782-5509

Senator Susan Garrett
(217) 782-3650

Senator James Meeks
(217) 782-8066

Senator Carol Ronen
(217) 782-8492

Senator Dan Cronin
(217) 782-8107

Senator J. Bradley Burzynski
(217) 782-1977

Senator David Luechtefeld
(217) 782-8137

Senator Richard Winkel, Jr.
(217) 782-2507

2) Immediately call your own state senator and give him the same
message.

To find the name and phone number of your state senator, use HSLDA's
Legislative Toolbox at: http://www.hslda.org/toolbox . If you do not
have Internet access, call your county clerk's office and ask for your
state senator's name.


BACKGROUND

S.B. 409 will lower the compulsory attendance of all children in
Illinois from age 7 to 5.

The reasons we oppose these types of bills include:

1. Changing the compulsory attendance age would subject Illinois home
educators to the requirements of the compulsory attendance law two
years earlier. (You do not need to share this reason with your
legislators.)

2. Many education experts have concluded that beginning a child's
formal education too early may actually result in burnout and poor
scholastic performance later.

3. In addition, lowering the compulsory attendance age erodes the
authority of parents---who are in the best position to determine when
their child's formal education should begin.

4. Another significant impact of expanding the compulsory attendance
age would be an inevitable tax increase to pay for more classroom
space and more teachers to accommodate the additional students
compelled to attend public schools under these proposed laws.

For more information on this type of bill and others, visit our
website at
http://www.hslda.org/elink.asp?ID=29 .

For a more detailed analysis of the issues involved in lowering the
compulsory attendance law, read our memo at
http://www.hslda.org/elink.asp?ID=28 .

Thank you for standing with us for family and freedom in Illinois and
throughout the country.

Sincerely,


Christopher J. Klicka
HSLDA Senior Counsel



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