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2/16/2006 6:39:52 PM
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 16, 2006

South Dakota--Calls Needed to Stop Compulsory Attendance Age Increase

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 two more years.

It has already passed the house, and the Senate Education Committee.
The full senate could vote on it tomorrow. This could be our last
opportunity to stop this bill.

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 call your senator with this message:

"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. Use our legislative tool box to find your senator:
http://www.hslda.org/toolbox

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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More reasons to join HSLDA...
http://www.hslda.org/elink.asp?id=1100

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