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6/9/2005 3:18:50 PM
Home School Legal Defense Association
Pennsylvania - Calls Needed to Oppose Lowering the Compulsory Attendance Age

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From the HSLDA E-lert Service...
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June 9, 2005

Pennsylvania - Calls Needed to Oppose Lowering the Compulsory
Attendance Age

Dear HSLDA members and friends:

Your calls are needed to stop a bill to expand the compulsory
attendance law before it goes any further.

House Bill 377, legislation which would lower the compulsory
attendance age from eight to six in the Philadelphia school district,
is on the calendar for its third and final reading by the full House
of Representatives this coming Monday, June 13.

Although this bill will only affect the Philadelphia school district,
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 states.

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.

ACTION REQUESTED:

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
child."

You can find the name and telephone number of your state
representative by using HSLDA's legislative toolbox at
http://www.hslda.org/elink.asp?ID=2182

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.

BACKGROUND:

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.

To view the text of this bill, please go to
http://www2.legis.state.pa.us/WU01/LI/BI/BT/2005/0/HB0377P0404.pdf

For more information on compulsory attendance, please see our
memorandum at http://www.hslda.org/elink.asp?ID=2051.

Sincerely,


Dewitt T. Black, III
HSLDA Senior Counsel


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