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2/23/2006 4:25:46 PM
Home School Legal Defense Association
Idaho--Calls Needed to Oppose Lowering the Compulsory Attendance Age

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From the HSLDA E-lert Service...
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February 23, 2006

Idaho--Calls Needed to Oppose Lowering the Compulsory Attendance Age

Dear HSLDA Members and Friends:

A bill that would open the door to lowering the compulsory school age
by granting public schools authority to conduct preschool, daycare,
and nursery care for children from infancy to kindergarten, was
introduced at the beginning of this month. In a single dramatic step,
House Bill 623 would grant government control over children at a very
young age. State law currently requires children to register for
school at age 5. An almost identical bill was also introduced in the
House.

While these bills do not affect homeschoolers right now, history
demonstrates that what is initially optional in the educational arena
often becomes mandatory. Early childhood education advocates have
been clear that their goal is mandatory preschool for all children,
including homeschoolers.

Barry Peters of the Idaho Coalition of Home Educators testified in
opposition of these bills at the committee hearing on Wednesday,
February 22.

ACTION REQUESTED:

1. Please call your representative and senator and give them this
message:

"Please vote against Senate Bill 1344/House Bill 623, which will
mandate early education programs in our schools that have not been
proven to be effective. This is a waste of taxpayers' dollars. It will
also increase the pressure to expand compulsory attendance, which will
restrict parents' choice in the education of their children."

Do not identify yourself as a homeschooler.

You can contact your representative and senator by calling the
Legislative Switchboard at (208) 332-1000 or toll free at
1-800-626-0471.

2. Leave the above message with the House Education Committee
Chairman, Representative Jack Barraclough, and also the Senate
Education Committee Chairman, Senator John Goedde (who can both be
contacted by calling the Legislative Swtichboard).

BACKGROUND:

While the bill purports to make these programs optional, history shows
us that there will be subsequent pressure to make them mandatory,
universal, and funded with taxpayer dollars.

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.

For more information on compulsory attendance, please see our
memorandum at: http://www.hslda.org/elink.asp?id=2791 .

Thank you for standing with us for freedom.

Sincerely,

Christopher J. Klicka, Esq.
HSLDA Senior Counsel

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