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3/8/2006 3:33:44 PM
Home School Legal Defense Association
Maryland--Calls Needed to Stop Compulsory Attendance Age Increase

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From the HSLDA E-lert Service...
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March 8, 2006

Maryland--Calls Needed to Stop Compulsory Attendance Age Increase

Dear HSLDA members and friends:

Calls are needed immediately to stop a bill which would increase the
compulsory attendance age. Maryland Senate Bill 741 would raise the
compulsory attendance age for all students living in Baltimore City
from age 16 to 18. S.B. 741 is the Senate version of House Bill 36
which was previously heard in committee.

S.B. 741 is scheduled for a hearing in the Senate Education, Health
and Environmental Affairs Committee on Thursday, March 9, at 1 p.m.
The committee meets on the second floor, west side, Miller Senate
Building, Annapolis, Maryland, in the Senate Education, Health, and
Environmental Affairs room.

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, Hawaii requires attendance to age
18 but has one of the nation's lowest graduation rates at 63%.

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 immediately call your state senator if he or she is listed
below and ask them to vote against this bill. You can express your
opposition in your own words. Be concise and courteous. Here is an
example:

"Please vote against S.B. 741, which would raise the compulsory
attendance age from 16 to 18 in Baltimore City. 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, Health and Environmental Affairs Committee Members:

Chairman: Paula C. Hollinger - 410-841-3131
Vice Chairman: Joan Carter Conway - 410-841-3145 or 301-858-3145
Gwendolyn Britt - 410-841-3745 or 301-858-3745
Sharon M. Grosfeld - 301-858-3137
Jim Brochin - 410-841-3648
Andrew P. Harris - 410-841-3706
Richard F. Colburn - 410-841-3590
Allan H. Kittleman - 410-841-3671
Roy P. Dyson - 301-858-3673
Paul G. Pinsky - 301-858-3155
Janet Greenip - 410-841-3568

You can use our legislative toolbox at
http://www.hslda.org/elink.asp?id=2830 to find your senator.

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.)

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=1105

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