From the HSLDA E-lert Service:


4/4/2005 4:46:11 PM
Home School Legal Defense Association
Pennsylvania--Calls Needed to Oppose Lowering the Compulsory Attendance Age

From the HSLDA E-lert Service...

April 4, 2005

Pennsylvania--Calls Needed to Oppose Lowering the Compulsory
Attendance Age from Eight to Six

Dear HSLDA members and friends:

We are sad to report that last week the House Education Committee
passed House Bill 377 which would lower the compulsory school
attendance age in Pennsylvania from eight to six for school districts
of the first class. Part of the Committee action was to amend the bill
to exempt from compulsory attendance children under 17 who have
completed the graduation requirements of a home education program.
While this amendment was favorable to homeschoolers, the primary
purpose of the bill remains unacceptable.

Your calls are needed to stop this bill which now moves to the full
House of Representatives for a vote.

Since Philadelphia is the only school district of the first class in
Pennsylvania at this time, it is the only school district that would
be affected by this legislation. However, we are concerned that the
next step the General Assembly will take is expanding this compulsory
attendance requirement to all school districts in Pennsylvania. This
has been the pattern that similar legislation has followed in other

There is a qualified exemption in the bill for homeschooling parents
whose children are between age six and eight, in that they would not
have to comply with the home education statute until their children
reach the current compulsory attendance age of eight. However, these
parents would still have to notify the local school district that they
intend to provide their child's education between ages six and eight.
How the state would determine that a parent is providing this
education is yet to be determined.

HSLDA opposes any legislation lowering the compulsory attendance age
because it further erodes parental rights in making decisions which
affect the educational preparedness of their children.


1. Please contact your state representative with this message:

"Please vote against House Bill 377. This bill restricts a parent's
right to choose when a child is ready for formal education. This bill
will also waste taxpayer dollars, since there is nothing to indicate
that early schooling results in any educational advantage for the

You can find the name and telephone number of your state
representative by using HSLDA's Legislative Toolbox at

2. Please forward this e-mail to every family you know who is not a
member of HSLDA and urge them to contact their state representative
with this same message.


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

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. The bill would restrict parents' freedom to
decide if their children are ready for school.

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 school.

For more information on compulsory attendance, please see our
memorandum at


Dewitt T. Black, III
HSLDA Senior Counsel

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