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2/10/2006 11:56:41 AM
Home School Legal Defense Association
Colorado--Update on Compulsory Attendance Bill--Calls Still Needed!

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From the HSLDA E-lert Service...
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February 10, 2006

Dear HSLDA members and friends:

There was a hearing on Senate Bill 73 Friday, February 9. Many
witnesses came to the hearing to support the bill. Treon Goossen of
Concerned Parents of Colorado was the only witness testifying against
the bill. Treon distributed HSLDA's memos on dropout rates that show
higher compulsory attendance age does not keep children in school, as
well as HSLDA's memos on the problems with raising and lowering the
compulsory attendance age.

The bill was pulled off the table without a vote and will come up next
week for possible amendments and a vote. Senator Tapia states that he
would be happy to add an amendment exempting homeschoolers from the
changes in the bill, however, we are still opposed to this bill
because it diminishes the rights of all parents in Colorado.

Keep your calls coming to the committee!

ACTION REQUESTED:

Please call the Senate Education Committee members and give them this
message:

"Please vote against Senate Bill 73, which expands the compulsory
attendance age. This bill is unnecessary. It restricts parental choice
and wastes taxpayer money."

Do not identify yourself as a homeschooler.

You can contact the members of the Senate Education Committee by
calling the numbers listed below:

Committee Chair:
Senator Windels
303-866-4840

Committee Vice-Chair:
Senator Bacon
303-866-4841

Members:

Senator Evans
303-866-4881

Senator Jones
303-866-6364

Senator Spence
303-866-4883

Senator Tupa
303-866-4872

Senator Williams
303-866-3432

BACKGROUND:

> Lowering the compulsory attendance age from 7 to 6 and raising
it from 16 to 17 would subject Colorado home educators to the
requirements of the homeschool statute one year earlier and one year
later than now required. (You do not need to share this reason with
your legislators.)

> 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.

> Raising the compulsory attendance age will not reduce the dropout
rate. In fact, the two states with the best high school completion
rates, Maryland at 94.5% and North Dakota at 94.7%, compel attendance
only to age 16. The state with the lowest completion rate (Oregon:
75.4%) compels attendance to age 18. (Figures are three-year averages,
1996 through 1998.)

> Twenty-nine states only require attendance to age 16. Older children
unwilling to learn can cause classroom disruptions and even violence,
making learning harder for their classmates who truly want to learn.

> It would restrict parents' freedom to decide if their 16-year-old is
ready for college or the workforce. Some 16-year-olds who are not
academically inclined benefit more from valuable work experience than
from being forced to sit in a classroom.

> 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. When California raised the age of compulsory
attendance, unwilling students were so disruptive that new schools had
to be built just to handle them and their behavior problems, all at
the expense of the taxpayer.

For more information on compulsory attendance, please see our
memorandum at: http://www.hslda.org/elink.asp?id=2791, or you can see
our previous e-lert at http://www.hslda.org/elink.asp?id=2828 .

Sincerely,


Chris Klicka
HSLDA Senior Counsel

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-> Who are the nation's best lobbyists?

We don't know that this has ever been determined; but we do know
that HSLDA's National Center for Home Education is the only
national organization lobbying on behalf of homeschoolers on
Capitol Hill.

More reasons to join HSLDA...
http://www.hslda.org/elink.asp?id=1102

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