From the HSLDA E-lert Service:


6/24/2005 1:30:42 PM
Home School Legal Defense Association
Pennsylvania--Calls Needed to Oppose Legislation Lowering Compulsory Attendance

From the HSLDA E-lert Service...
June 24, 2005

Pennsylvania--Calls Needed to Oppose Legislation Lowering Compulsory
Attendance Age

Dear HSLDA members and friends:

Bad news! House Bill 377 received final approval by the Pennsylvania
House of Representatives on Tuesday of this week by a vote of 102 to
97. It has now been referred to the Senate Education Committee for
consideration. This bill would lower the compulsory attendance age in
Pennsylvania from eight to six for school districts of the first

House Bill 377 now has the momentum for quick passage by the Senate.
Your calls are needed to stop this bad bill before it becomes law.

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.

There is a qualified exemption in the bill for homeschooling parents
whose children are between ages 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.

The House Education Committee amended this 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.

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 as many members of the Senate Education Committee as
possible and your own state senator 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

Members of the Committee are as follows:

James J. Rhoades, Chair - (717) 787-2637

Jane M. Earll, Vice Chair - (717) 787-8927

Raphael J. Musto, Minority Chair - (717) 787-7105

Patrick M. Browne - (717) 787-1349

Jeffrey E. Piccola - (717) 787-6801

Dominic F. Pileggi - (717) 787-4712

Robert M. Tomlinson - (717) 787-5072

Vincent J. Hughes - (717) 787-7112

Gerald J. LaValle - (717) 787-3076

Constance H. Williams - (717) 787-5544

You can find the name and telephone number of your state senator 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 members of the Committee and
their own state senator 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.

To view the text of this bill, please go to

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

Please call today!


Dewitt T. Black, III
HSLDA Senior Counsel
-> There may be a shortage of the flu vaccine, but there's no
shortage of legal protection for homeschoolers.

HSLDA is 80,000 families standing together for the right of each
family to teach their children at home. You don't have to stand
alone against those who think homeschoolers should be regulated
and controlled. Joining a team of home educators who will stick
with you may be just what the doctor ordered for your
homeschool . . . and your peace of mind.

More reasons to join HSLDA...

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