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2/15/2006 2:58:02 PM
Home School Legal Defense Association
Colorado--More Calls Needed to Oppose Compulsory Attendance Bill

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

Dear HSLDA members and friends:

Senate Bill 73 is scheduled for a committee hearing Thursday, February
16, at 1:30 p.m. It is up for action only--no testimony. At this time
amendments will be considered.

After listening to the input of HSLDA and Treon Goossen of Concerned
Parents of Colorado, some amendments have been drafted which exempt
homeschoolers from the age requirements of the proposed compulsory
attendance law. If passed, homeschoolers would not be directly
affected by S.B. 73.

Although Senator Tapia has promised he will add these amendments to
his bill, we are still opposed to the bill, because it is bad law. It
will limit all parents' choices in the State of Colorado and infringe
on their parental rights to direct the education of their children.
Therefore, we urge you to continue contacting the members of the
committee listed below who are still supportive of S.B 73.

ACTION REQUESTED:

Please contact only the senators below on the committee 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 Senator Tapia at 303-866-4878, and the members of the
Senate Education Committee by calling the numbers listed below:

Committee Chair:
Senator Windels (Democrat)
303-866-4840

Committee Vice-Chair:
Senator Bacon (Democrat)
303-866-4841

Members:
Senator Tupa (Democrat)
303-866-4872

Senator Williams (Democrat)
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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-> Extreme makeovers are for extreme circumstances...

Most homeschools don't need an extreme makeover, but there is
something to be said for attention to detail and recognition of
accomplishments. Watch the media and you'll soon see that not
everyone wants home educators and homeschooling to look good.
HSLDA works hard to shed light on the good work of home educators
so it's obvious that we don't need someone "making-over" our
homeschools. Join HSLDA and help us show the world that we're fine
as we are . . . thank you!

More reasons to join HSLDA...
http://www.hslda.org/elink.asp?id=1943

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