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2/15/2006 10:38:07 AM
Home School Legal Defense Association
Iowa--Calls Needed to Stop Rise in Compulsory Attendance Age

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From the HSLDA E-lert Service...
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February 15, 2006

Dear HSLDA members and friends:

Calls are needed immediately to defeat House File 2138, which would
raise the compulsory attendance age from 16 to 18. If this bill
becomes law, parents would lose the right to decide which is better
for their 16 or 17-year-old: continuing a school program, or some
other preparation for adult responsibilities. It would make these
older teens subject to Department of Education regulations for two
more years.

H.F. 2138 is scheduled for a hearing in a subcommittee of the House
Education Committee tomorrow, February 16 at 11 a.m.

Proponents of raising the compulsory attendance age claim it will lead
to better graduation rates. But the state with the best 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 this bill tomorrow. You can express
your opposition in your own words. Be concise and courteous. Here is
an example:

"I am one of your constituents. Please vote against H.F. 2138, 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."

Call the switchboard at (515) 281-3221 to leave a message or call the
numbers below:

Chair Jody Tymeson (R)
(H) (515) 462-5080

Dennis Cohoon (D)
(H) (319) 752-5057

Rod Roberts (R)
(H) (712) 792-22718


This bill affects all students, so it is not necessary to identify
yourself as a homeschooler. You can use our legislative toolbox at
http://www.hslda.org/toolbox 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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-> Have you ever yelled into the wind, only to hear the sound of your
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Join HSLDA to be heard above the tempests that threaten homeschool
freedoms.

More reasons to join HSLDA...
http://www.hslda.org/elink.asp?id=1939

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