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2/8/2006 11:27:52 AM
Home School Legal Defense Association
South Dakota--Calls Needed to Stop Compulsory Attendance Age Increase

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From the HSLDA E-lert Service...
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February 8, 2006

Dear HSLDA members and friends:

Calls are needed immediately to stop House Bill 1235 (H.B. 1235) which
would raise the age of compulsory attendance from 16 to 18. If this
bill became law, families would be subject to government requirements
for 2 more years. It is scheduled for a hearing on Thursday, February
9, at 7 a.m.

Proponents of raising the compulsory attendance age claim it will lead
to higher graduation rates. But the state with the highest graduation
rate in the country, New Jersey, at 89%, only requires attendance to
age 16. In addition, Florida requires attendance to age 18 but 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. Furthermore, 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:

If your representative is on the House Education Committee,
immediately call and ask them to vote against this bill. Use our
legislative toolbox http://www.hslda.org/toolbox to find your
representative's name. You can express your opposition in your own
words. Be concise and courteous. Here is an example:

"Please vote against House Bill 1235, which would raise the compulsory
attendance age from 16 to 18. 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.

House Education Committee Members:

Representative Phyllis M Heineman - Chair
Home: 605-339-2167
Fax: 605-339-7015

Representative Ed McLaughlin - Vice Chair
Home: 605-343-8713
Capitol: 605-224-0411
Business: 605-343-8713
Fax: 605-348-6708

Representative Jim Bradford
Home: 605-867-5369
Capitol: 605-441-8805
Business: 605-867-5174

Representative Thomas J Brunner
Home: 605-257-2336
Business: 605-257-2153
Fax: 605-257-2336

Representative Michael Buckingham
Home: 605-343-7657
Capitol: 605-224-0411
Business: 605-394-5050
Fax: 605-394-5054

Representative Burt Elliott
Home: 605-225-7136
Business: 605-725-8100

Representative Thomas R Hills
Home: 605-642-5620

Representative Paul Nelson
Home: 605-983-5014
Capitol: 605-223-2462
Fax: 605-983-5014

Representative Al Novstrup
Home: 605-226-2505
Capitol: 605-360-9711
Business: 605-360-9711
Fax: 605-226-8508

Representative Ryan P Olson
Home: 605-258-2398
Capitol: 605-773-3851
Business: 605-280-2398
Fax: 801-409-8499

Representative Elaine Roberts
Home: 605-331-5788
Capitol: 605-224-0411

Representative Donna Schafer
Home: 605-624-4819
Capitol: 605-224-4200

Representative Thomas J Van Norman
Home: 605-964-8665
Business: 605-964-6686
Fax: 605-964-1166

Representative Keri K Weems
Home: 605-274-2525
Capitol: 605-224-4200
Fax: 605-274-2525

Representative Hal G Wick
Home: 605-332-1360
Capitol: 605-224-5951
Fax: 605-332-4365

Background:

1. The statistics above 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 best 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.)

5. You may be told there is a "home school" exception to the higher
compulsory attendance age. That is misleading. Homeschool students
born between July 1, 1988 and June 30, 1990 would remain subject to
the existing 16 year limit. All others would be subject to the higher
limit if it passes.

Thank you for standing with us for freedom.

Sincerely,


Scott Woodruff
HSLDA Staff Attorney

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