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6/19/2006 10:59:20 AM
Home School Legal Defense Association
New York--Calls Needed to Stop School for 5-year-olds!

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From the HSLDA E-lert Service...
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June 19, 2006

New York--Calls Needed to Stop School for 5-year-olds!

Dear HSLDA members and friends:

The New York Assembly just introduced another bill that would lower
the age a child is required to attend school from 6 to 5.

Assembly Bill 11915 enables all school districts to require all
children to attend school if they will turn 5 on or before December 1
of that school year. This bill also enables the local school board to
extend that date until December 31.

While this bill has an "opt out" provision for parents who do not want
their children to begin school at 5, it is extremely technical and
confusing. If a homeschool parent missed the deadline to notify the
superintendent of their decision to opt out they would be required to
follow the homeschool law and report a year early.

While there are only four days left in the legislative session A.B.
11915 has been sponsored by the Chairman of the Education Committee at
the request of the State Education Department. Since we are concerned
that this bill is on the fast track please call your state assemblyman
right away.

REQUESTED ACTION:

1. Please call and email your state assemblyman and give them this
message in your own words:

"Please oppose Assembly Bill 11915. Lowering the compulsory school
attendance age from 6 to 5 takes away the right of parents to decide
whether their children are ready for school and would only waste
taxpayers' money. The 'opt out' provision will not work and places too
much of a burden on parents."

Do not identify yourself as a homeschooler; instead you can identify
yourself as a concerned parent and taxpayer.

To find the name and contact information for your assemblyman, use
HSLDA's Legislative Toolbox at http://www.hslda.org/toolbox .

2. Please forward this email to other friends and families who are not
members of Home School Legal Defense Association and ask them to
contact their assemblymen as well. This legislation would affect all
families in New York, not just homeschoolers.

BACKGROUND

This is another bill that has come out of the commitment that the
Board of Regents has made to early education. If you remember we sent
out an e-lert last October urging you to contact that Board of Regents
and comment on the revisions to their policy statement entitled "Early
Education for Student Achievement in a Global Community."

After hearing from several hundred concerned parents the Board of
Regents continued to press on towards their goal of lowering the
compulsory attendance age to 5, and making school programs available
for 4-year-olds.

Some of the problems with lowering the compulsory attendance are
listed below.

> Lowering the compulsory attendance age from 6 to 5 would subject New
York home educators to the requirements of the homeschool laws one
year earlier. Homeschool parents would be required to submit a notice
of intent, IHIP, and quarterly reports for their 5-year-old. (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.

> It would restrict parents' freedom to decide if their children are
ready for school. While there is an "opt out" provision in this bill
it requires parents to notify the superintendent by April 1 of the
year before the child would become compulsory attendance age. For many
parents this would mean they would have to report when their child is
only 4 1/2. If parents move into a school district after this date
then they would have only 30 days to notify the school district that
they are electing to not send their child to school. If parents missed
this deadline then they would have to prove that the school district
failed to provide them timely notice in order to be permitted to "opt
out." Under this bill every school district would be required to send
a notice by March 1 to all parents identified by the school census
that they have a child who will be compulsory attendance age.

> 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.

For more information on compulsory attendance, please see our
memorandum at http://www.hslda.org/elink.asp?ID=1421 .

If you are not yet a member of HSLDA and would like to help us fight
for greater parental rights and homeschool freedom in New York please
visit http://www.hslda.org/join/apply.asp .

If you would like to be put on our e-mail list to receive vital
e-lerts you may sign up at
https://secure.hslda.org/hslda/elert/account.asp?Process=Subscribe .

Thank you for your part in fighting for freedom in New York!

Sincerely,

Thomas Schmidt
HSLDA Staff Attorney

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-> Can you call your attorney at 2 a.m. on Sunday morning?

Our members can get in touch with their attorney even after
business hours, when they have a legal emergency. Wouldn't you
like this level of service?

More reasons to join HSLDA...
http://www.hslda.org/elink.asp?id=1100

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