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2/10/2006 12:48:16 PM
Home School Legal Defense Association
Maryland--Calls Needed to Stop Rise in Compulsory Attendance Age

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

Dear HSLDA members and friends:

Calls are needed immediately to stop two bills which would increase
the compulsory attendance age. House Bill 36 would raise the
compulsory attendance age for all students living in Baltimore City
from age 16 to 18. House Bill 74 would raise the compulsory
attendance age for all students in Maryland from age 16 to 18, or
until graduation.

Both are scheduled for a hearing in the House Ways and Means Committee
on Tuesday, February 14, at 1 p.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:

Please immediately call your representative if he or she is listed
below and ask them to vote against these bills on Tuesday morning. You
can express your opposition in your own words. Be concise and
courteous. Here is an example:

"Please vote against H.B. 36 and H.B. 74, 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 Ways and Means Committee Members:

Chairman: Sheila E. Hixson - 301-858-3469.
Vice Chairman: Anne Healey - 301-858-3961.
Joseph R. Bartlett - 301-858-3107.
Henry B. Heller - 301-858-3528.
David G. Boschert - 410-841-3510 or 301-858-3510.
Carolyn J. B. Howard - 301-858-3074.
K. Bennett Bozman - 410-841-3431.
Anne R. Kaiser - 301-858-3380.
Jon S. Cardin - 410-841-3342.
Nancy J. King - 301-858-3037.
Jean B. Cryor - 301-858-3090.
Salima Siler Marriott - 410-841-3255.
Clarence Davis - 410-841-3257.
Robert A. McKee - 301-858-3447.
D. Page Elmore - 410-841-3433.
LeRoy E. Myers, Jr. - 301-858-3435.
Terrill R. Gilleland, Jr. - 410-841-3370.
Obie Patterson - 301-858-3210.
Marshall T. Goodwin - 410-841-3030.
Victor R. Ramirez - 301-858-3326.
Michael R. Gordon - 301-858-3744.
Justin D. Ross - 301-858-3058.

You can use our legislative toolbox at
http://www.hslda.org/elink.asp?id=2830 to find your representative.

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 better 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.)

Thank you for standing with us for freedom.

Sincerely,


Scott Woodruff
HSLDA Staff Attorney

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-> How many of your friends would pay your legal fees?

As a member of HSLDA, you have 80,000 families standing with you
to protect and advance homeschool freedoms in the United States
and foreign countries.

More reasons to join HSLDA...
http://www.hslda.org/elink.asp?id=1106

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