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1/19/2007 11:16:55 AM
Home School Legal Defense Association
Wyoming--Calls Needed to Oppose Expansion of State Control Over Children

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From the HSLDA E-lert Service...
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January 19, 2007

Wyoming--Calls Needed to Oppose
Expansion of State Control Over Children

Dear HSLDA members and friends,

Earlier this week, we let you know about House Bill 129, which raises
the compulsory attendance age in Wyoming from 16 to 18. If it passes,
it will expand the state's authority over homeschool children for two
more years!

The House Education Committee is planning to debate this bill today
around noon. Becky Vandeberghe of the Wyoming Family Coalition and
Sheryl Schmidt of Homeschoolers of Wyoming will be at the hearing to
provide testimony. Calls and emails to are needed as soon as possible
to encourage committee members to oppose House Bill 129.

To view the bill, go to http://www.hslda.org/elink.asp?id=3624 .


ACTION REQUESTED

Contact as many of the Wyoming House Education Committee members as
possible BY NOON TODAY to oppose House Bill 129.

Please give them the following message in your own words:

"I oppose raising the age of compulsory attendance in Wyoming because
it will:

> Not accomplish the intended objective of increasing high school
completion rates;
> Create classroom difficulties overburdening teachers and
administrators;
> Place new and unnecessary burdens and restriction on the liberty of
all parents;
> Unnecessarily restrict the liberty of 16-year-olds who, with their
parent's permission, wish to enroll in post secondary education or
pursue a vocational calling;
> Redirect funds needed from other more important programs; and
> This bill was defeated in committee in 2005 and should be again."

You do not need to mention that you are a homeschooler. This issue
affects all parents in Wyoming and it is not necessary that we make
this a "homeschool" issue, even though it does affect homeschooling.

Members of the House Education Committee:

Chairman Del McOmie (Republican)
307-332-4626

Bernadine Craft (Democrat)
Leave a message with the House Receptionist at 307-777-7852
Email Address: bcraft@wyoming.com

Kathy Davison (Republican)
307-877-6483

Ross Diercks (Democrat)
307-334-3670

W. Patrick Goggles (Democrat)
307-332-5318

Allen M. Jaggi (Republican)
307-786-2817

Matt Teeters (Republican)
307-837-2359

Sue Wallis (Republican)
307-680-8515

Kevin A. White (Republican)
307-742-5541


BACKGROUND

1. House Bill 231 was an attempt made in the 2005 session of the
Wyoming Legislature to raise the compulsory attendance age. This bill
was defeated in committee by a vote of 8 to 1. Since then, the
Education Committee has changed dramatically. You can read the old
bill online at http://www.hslda.org/elink.asp?id=3625. House Bill 231
was a simple attempt to raise the compulsory age. The current bill
contains a lot more language as well as this "exception" language.

2. Statistics show that raising the compulsory attendance age will not
reduce the dropout rate. In fact, the two states with the highest
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.)

3. Twenty-nine states require school attendance only 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.

4. Even with the exemption language, passing this bill 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.)

5. Another significant impact of expanding the compulsory attendance
age is an inevitable tax burden 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.

6. A study by Cornell University on raising the age of compulsory
attendance found that there was no correlation between passing a law
to raise the age of compulsory attendance and high school completion
rates. The study shows that specific programs targeted at at-risk
youth can help improve completion rates, but a law raising the age of
attendance does not. To read the report click here
http://www.hslda.org/elink.asp?id=3626.

Thank you for your vigilance on behalf of all Wyoming parents!

Sincerely,


Michael P. Donnelly, Esq.
HSLDA Staff Attorney

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-> Have you ever yelled into the wind, only to hear the sound of your
voice blown back at you?

It's hard to be heard in the midst of a storm. Trying to influence
federal legislation is much like yelling to be heard while
standing in a fierce wind. Yet when 80,000 voices join together,
they become a powerful force that cannot be drowned out.
Join HSLDA to be heard above the tempests that threaten homeschool
freedoms.

More reasons to join HSLDA...
http://www.hslda.org/elink.asp?id=1939

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