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3/1/2006 4:44:17 PM
Home School Legal Defense Association
South Dakota--Last Chance to Stop Compulsory Attendance Bill

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From the HSLDA E-lert Service...
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March 1, 2006

South Dakota--Last Chance to Stop Compulsory Attendance Bill

Dear HSLDA members and friends:

We notified you previously about South Dakota House Bill 1234, which
would lower the age of compulsory attendance from 7 to 5.

H.B. 1234 was defeated in Senate committee, so it seemed we won.

Unfortunately, on the Senate floor, after a tricky application of a
procedural rule, the committee was forced to report an otherwise dead
bill to the Senate floor! The bill was defeated again.

The bill's proponents did not give up. Next, a conference committee
"hog housed" the language of H.B. 1234 by adding it to a previously
benign bill, H.B. 1175.

H.B. 1175 now includes all of the problematic language of H.B. 1234.
The amended H.B. 1175 just passed both houses in the legislature and
will be sent to the governor for his signature.

If H.B. 1175 is signed into law, homeschoolers will be required to
submit to state requirements two years earlier since it expands public
schools authority over all 5 and 6 year olds. The bill goes into
effect in 2010.

ACTION REQUESTED:

Please call Governor Mike Rounds' office in South Dakota immediately
and ask him to veto South Dakota H.B. 1175. You can express your
opposition in your own words. Please be concise and courteous. Here
is an example:

"Please veto House Bill 1175, which would lower the age at which
children must start school from 7 to 5. This bill will raise taxes,
will force students to start school too early, and will take away
parental freedom to determine when their children should start
school."

This bill affects all students, so do not identify yourself as a
homeschooler.

You can call Governor Rounds' office at (605) 773-3212 and ask for the
message line.

You can write to the governor at Office of the Governor, 500 E.
Capitol Ave. Pierre, SD 57501.

BACKGROUND:

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 also erodes the authority of
parents who are in the best position to determine when their child's
formal education should begin.

In addition, it is certain that your tax bill will increase to pay for
more classroom space and teachers to accommodate the additional
students compelled to attend public schools.

Under current law, 6 is the nominal age of compulsory attendance, but
parents have a right to waive compulsory attendance for their
6-year-old, so attendance is not actually required until age 7.

For more information on compulsory attendance, please see our
memorandum "Mandatory Kindergarten Is Unnecessary" at
http://www.hslda.org/docs/nche/000000/00000028.asp .

Thank you for standing with us for freedom.

Sincerely,


Scott Woodruff
HSLDA Staff Attorney

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