From the HSLDA E-lert Service:


10/18/2005 12:01:33 PM
Home School Legal Defense Association
New York--Calls and Emails Needed Now to Stop Mandatory Early Education

From the HSLDA E-lert Service...

October 17, 2005

New York--Calls and Emails Needed Now to Stop Mandatory Early

Dear HSLDA members and friends:

We need you to contact the Board of Regents immediately to impact the
early childhood policy statement they are currently drafting. If we do
not "nip this in the bud" now, legislation will be created to lower
the compulsory attendance age and increase the years homeschool
parents will have to test and file the Individualized Home Instruction
Plan (IHIP) forms for their children.

The time for public comment is only until the end of this month so we
need you to act now.

We just learned that the Board of Regents is working to revise their
policy on "Early Education for Student Achievement in a Global

Some of the goals of the Board of Regents under the current draft are:

1) the implementation of a state-wide pre-kindergarten program for 3
and 4 year-old children in every school district,

2) mandatory full-day kindergarten,

3) lowering the compulsory attendance age to 5, and

4) instruction must be given by "highly qualified persons."

To understand the significance of this policy statement we only need
to look at a paragraph that the department of education included in
their memo requesting action by the Board of Regents.

"Should the Regents approve the revised policy in December 2005, we
anticipate that it will require a four-year implementation timeframe.
Within that timeframe, statutory amendments will be needed for
full-day kindergarten and compulsory age initiatives. State Aid
proposals and allocations must be in place to achieve full statewide
access to pre-kindergarten programs. Developmental work on
assessments, curriculum and performance indicators, using national
experts, will also take place. Also, developmental work on the
student identification system will be needed to incorporate three and

You can review the entire proposed policy statement here .

Please comment on this proposed statement within the next two weeks
and forward this information to others in New York who share our
concerns. We suggest that you focus on the enormous tax burden this
will cost taxpayers in New York and the fact that most studies have
shown that any gains made in early child education are eliminated by
the time the children reach the 2nd or 3rd grade. Parents are the ones
best able to determine the appropriate education for their own

If this policy is adopted by the Board of Regents legislation will be
proposed to lower the compulsory attendance age in New York to 5 and
require full-time kindergarten. Please act now to make an impact on
this policy!

Action Requested

1) Please contact the Board of Regents and give them this message in
your own words:

"Please revise the drafted "Regents Policy Statement on Early
Education for Student Achievement in a Global Community." I believe
the current draft would create an enormous financial burden on the
taxpaying citizens of New York. Most studies have revealed that any
gains in early child education through pre-kindergarten programs and
lowering the compulsory attendance age are eliminated by the time a
child reaches the 2nd or 3rd grade."

"Instead, I suggest that the Board of Regents Policy Statement on
Early Education for Student Development focus on the vital impact
parents can have on their child's development. If the Board of Regents
policy statement were to focus on implementing a policy meant to
strengthen the parent's abilities to educate their child, and
encourage them in that responsibility, New York could see great
dividends in the overall education of children at a much lower cost."

"Please eliminate the components lowering the compulsory attendance
age to 5, mandatory full-time kindergarten and increasing the
pre-kindergarten programs for 3 and 4 year-olds. The draft proposals
are too costly, and if implemented, will have little or no lasting

Please do not identify yourself as a homeschooler. Instead, you can
comment as a concerned parent and taxpayer.

You can submit written public comments on-line at or e-mail
questions and concerns to the Office of Early Education & Reading
Initiatives at

You can also contact your Regent directly at the following
address/phone number:

Board of Regents

Robert M. Bennett (Chancellor)
Judicial District VIII -- Allegany, Cattaraugus, Chautauqua, Erie,
Genesee, Niagara, Orleans and Wyoming
201 Millwood Lane
Tonawanda, NY 14150
Phone: (716) 694-6783

Adelaide L. Sanford (Vice Chancellor)
At Large
New York State Education Department
55 Hanson Place, Brooklyn, NY 11217-1580
Phone: (718) 722-2796

Saul B. Cohen
At Large
82 Taymil Road
New Rochelle, NY 10804
Phone: (914) 633-7889

James C. Dawson
Judicial District IV -- Clinton, Essex, Franklin, Fulton, Hamilton,
Montgomery, St. Lawrence, Saratoga, Schenectady, Warren and Washington
2 Birchwood Drive
Peru, NY 12972
Phone: (518) 643-9289

Anthony S. Bottar
Judicial District V -- Herkimer, Jefferson, Lewis, Oneida, Onondaga,
and Oswego
120 Madison Street, Suite 1600, MONY Tower II
Syracuse, NY 13202
Phone: (315) 422-3466

Merryl H. Tisch
At Large
9 East 79th Street
N.Y., N.Y. 10021
Phone: (212) 879-9414

Geraldine Chapey
Judicial District XI -- Queens
107-10 Shore Front Parkway, Apt. 9C
Belle Harbor, NY 11694
Phone: (718) 634-8471

Arnold B. Gardner
At Large
726 Exchange Street, Suite 800
Buffalo, N.Y. 14210
Phone: (716) 845-6000

Harry Phillips 3rd
Judicial District IX -- Dutchess, Orange, Putnam, Rockland and
71 Hawthorne Way
Hartsdale, NY 10530
Phone: (914) 948-2228

Joseph E. Bowman, Jr.
Judicial District III -- Albany, Columbia, Greene, Rensselaer,
Schoharie, Sullivan and Ulster
ED 124
School of Education
University at Albany
1400 Washington Avenue
Albany, NY 12222
Phone: (518) 442-4987

Lorraine A. Cortes-Vazquez
Judicial District XII - Bronx
Cablevision System, Inc.
1111 Stewart Avenue
Bethpage, NY 11714
Phone (516) 803-2133

James R. Jr. Tallon
Judicial District VI - Broome, Chemung, Chenango, Cortland, Delaware,
Madison, Otsego, Schuyler, Tioga, Tompkins
United Hospital Fund
Empire State Building
350 Fifth Avenue, 23rd Floor
New York, N.Y. 10118-0110
Phone (212) 494-0777

Milton L. Cofield
Judicial District VII - Cayuga, Livingston, Monroe, Ontario, Seneca,
Steuben, Wayne, Yates
98 Hickory Ridge Road
Rochester, N.Y. 14625
Phone (585) 248-8494

John Brademas
Judicial District I - New York
25 West 4th Street, Room 524
New York, N.Y. 10012
Phone (212) 998-2407

Carol Bellamy
Judicial District II - Kings, Richmond
223 Wyckoff Street
Brooklyn, N.Y. 11217
Phone (917) 640-8394

Roger B. Tilles
Judicial District X - Nassau, Suffolk
100 Crossways Park West, Suite 107
Woodbury, N.Y. 11797
Phone (516) 364-2533


- Lowering the compulsory attendance age from 6 to 5 would subject New
York home educators to the requirements of the homeschool statute one
year earlier than now required. (You do not need to share this reason
with the Regents.)

- 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.

- 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 schools. If the compulsory attendance age is lowered to
5, full-time kindergarten required, and a program of pre-kindergarten
implemented in every school district for 3 and 4 year-olds new schools
will to be built, at the expense of the taxpayer, just to accommodate
the extra students.

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


Thomas J. Schmidt
HSLDA Staff Attorney

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