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2/17/2006 5:12:42 PM
Home School Legal Defense Association
New Hampshire--Calls Needed: Stop Rise in Compulsory Attendance Age

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From the HSLDA E-lert Service...
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February 17, 2006

Dear HSLDA members and friends:

Calls are needed immediately to stop Senate Bill 268 which would raise
the age of compulsory attendance from 16 to 18. If this bill became
law, families would be subject to Department of Education requirements
for two more years. The Senate Education Committee will vote on S.B.
268 on Tuesday, February 21.

Proponents of raising the compulsory attendance age claim it will lead
to a higher graduation rate. 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 call all the members of the Senate Education Committee
immediately and ask them to vote against this bill on Tuesday morning.
You can express your opposition in your own words. Be concise and
courteous. Here is an example:

"Please vote against Senate Bill 268, 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.

Senate Education Committee Members:

Chairman Peter Bragdon
Statehouse Office--(603) 271-6933
Home--(603) 673-7135

Vice Chair John Gallus
Statehouse Office --(603) 271-4152
Home--(603) 752-1066

Thomas Eaton
Statehouse Office --(603) 271-8630

Richard Green
Statehouse Office--(603) 271-2641
Home--(603) 332-1567

Iris Estabrook
Statehouse Office --(603) 271-2675
Home--(603) 868-5524

Joseph Foster
Statehouse Office --(603) 271-3569
Home--(603) 891-0307

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.)

5. You may be told there is a "home school" exception to the higher
compulsory attendance age. That is simply not correct. Even students
who are being homeschooled would be required to comply with legal
requirements until age 18. Our e-lert dated January 24 gives more
background. You can view it online at
http://www.hslda.org/elink.asp?id=2818 .

Thank you for standing with us for freedom.

Sincerely,


Scott Woodruff
HSLDA Staff Attorney

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