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3/21/2005 11:19:42 AM
Home School Legal Defense Association
Maryland--Calls Needed to Defeat Expansion of State Control Over Homeschoolers

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From the HSLDA E-lert Service...
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March 21, 2005


Maryland--Calls Needed to Defeat Expansion of State Control Over
Homeschoolers


Dear HSLDA members and friends:

Calls are needed immediately to stop a bill that would raise the age
of compulsory attendance from 16 to 18. If this bill became law,
school districts would have two more years to demand paperwork from
homeschoolers.

Senate Bill 913 will be heard Tuesday, March 22, at 1 PM (or later) in
the Senate Education, Health and Environmental Affairs Committee.

Proponents of raising the compulsory attendance age claim it will lead
to a higher graduation rate. But the state with the highest
graduation rate in the country, New Jersey, at 89%, only requires
attendance to age 16. And Florida, which requires attendance to age
18, has one of the nation's lowest graduation rates, at 59%.

The facts demonstrate that forcing unwilling students to stay in
school longer does not increase graduation rates. And it does not
reduce juvenile crime.

In addition, it is certain that your tax bill will increase. When
California raised its compulsory attendance age, taxpayers were forced
to pay for a whole new school system to handle the numerous problems
these unruly, unwilling students caused.


ACTION REQUESTED

Please call all the members of the Senate Education, Health and
Environmental Affairs Committee. If one of them is your own state
senator, be sure to identify yourself as a constituent. Use our
legislative toolbox http://www.hslda.org/toolbox/ to find your
senator. Your message can be as simple as,

"Please vote against Senate Bill 913, which would raise the compulsory
attendance age. It will raise taxes, but statistics show it will not
reduce juvenile crime or the dropout rate, and it will not increase
the graduation rate."

This bill affects all students, so DO NOT identify yourself as a
homeschooler.

Committee members:

Chairman:
Paula C. Hollinger:
410-841-3131

V ice Chairman:
Joan Carter Conway:
410-841-3145

Gwendolyn Britt:
301-858-3745

Sharon M. Grosfeld:
301-858-3137

Jim Brochin:
410-841-3648

Andrew P. Harris:
410-841-3706

Richard F. Colburn:
410-841-3590

Allan H. Kittleman:
410-841-3671

Roy P. Dyson:
301-858-3673

Paul G. Pinsky:
301-858-3155

Janet Greenip:
410-841-3568


BACKGROUND

1. The statistics in the third paragraph come from the February,
2005, publication of the Manhattan Institute's Center for Civic
Innovation, "Public High School Graduation and College-Readiness
Rates: 1991-2002," by Dr. Jay P. Greene.

2. States which compel attendance only to age 16 have better high
school completion rates than states that compel attendance to 17 or
18, on average. (Source: "Dropout Rates in the United States: 2000",
pp. 9-10, 40-41; National Center for Education Statistics, U.S.
Department of Education, Office of educational Research and
Improvement, Doc. No. NCES 2002-114.)

3. States which compel attendance only to age 16 also have lower
dropout rates than states that compel attendance to 17 or 18, on
average. (Source: same as above.)

4. According to statistics published by the federal Office of
Juvenile Justice and Dropout Prevention, a higher compulsory
attendance age is not correlated to a reduction in juvenile crime.
(Source: "Juvenile Arrests 1999." Washington, D.C.: Office of Juvenile
Justice and Delinquency Prevention, 2000.)

Thank you for standing with us for freedom.

Sincerely,


Scott Woodruff
HSLDA Staff Attorney



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