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3/2/2006 5:16:08 PM
Home School Legal Defense Association
Colorado--Calls Still Needed to Stop Compulsory Attendance Bill

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

Colorado--Calls Still Needed to Stop Compulsory Attendance Bill

Dear HSLDA members and friends:

Senate Bill 73 was heard in the Senate Education Committee on February
16 and unfortunately passed unanimously.

However, the amendments we drafted with Treon Goossen that would
exempt homeschoolers from being affected from this expansion of
jurisdiction of the public schools over all children were never added
by Senator Tapia. Instead the bill was amended to increase the
compulsory attendance age by another year!

The bill has been referred to the Senate Appropriations Committee. We
now need you to call the Appropriations Committee members and ask that
they do not even bring the bill up for a vote.

If we lose this battle, homeschoolers will have to notify and test or
evalute for 3 more years--ages 6, 16 and 17!

The judiciary costs alone (if the compulsory age is expanded to just
6-16 years of age) will exceed $152,000. If the compulsory attendance
age is expanded to 6-17 years, the costs will be that much more.

Your calls are still needed to defeat this bill!

ACTION REQUESTED:

Please contact the senators below on the Appropriations Committee and
give them this message:

"Please do not bring Senate Bill 73 up for a vote. Senate Bill 73
expands the compulsory attendance age. This bill is unnecessary. It
restricts parental choice and wastes taxpayer money."

Do not identify yourself as a homeschooler.

If the Committee members ask where the bill is, say, "Ask Senator
Tapia." You can contact the members of the Senate Appropriations
Committee by calling the numbers listed below:

Committee Chair:
Senator Tapia
303-866-2581

Committee Vice-Chair:
Senator Keller
303-866-4856

Members:
Senator Brophy-opposes S. 73--no need to call
303-866-6360

Senator Groff
303-866-4864

Senator Grossman
303-866- 4852

Senator Lamborn
303-866-4835

Senator Owen
303-866-2586

Senator Teck
303-866-3077

Senator Veiga
303-866-4861

Senator Williams
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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we're there to protect your family.

More reasons to join HSLDA...
http://www.hslda.org/elink.asp?id=1938

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