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1/30/2007 10:35:16 AM
Home School Legal Defense Association
New Mexico: Calls Needed to Stop Expansion of State Control Over Homeschools

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From the HSLDA E-lert Service...
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January 30, 2007

New Mexico: Calls Needed to Stop
Expansion of State Control Over Homeschools

Dear New Mexico members and friends,

There are two bills that have just been introduced that would affect
homeschoolers in New Mexico. Senate Bill 561 and House Bill 584 are
companion bills; they would extend the period of compulsory education
from 17 to 18 years of age.

This would require you to notify the state of your homeschooling and
have your homeschooled child under the state's jurisdiction an extra
year.

The House sponsor is Representative Cheryl Williams Stapleton and the
sponsor in the Senate is Senator Cynthia Nava, who is chair of the
Senate Education Committee.

We hope your calls will cause the committee chairmen and sponsors to
NOT bring these bills up for a vote.

REQUESTED ACTION

Please call the sponsors and chairman listed below and give them this
message:

"Please oppose any effort to raise the age of compulsory school
attendance. It only serves as a waste of taxpayers' money; it would
force unwilling, disruptive students into the classroom."

You do not need to mention that you homeschool.

Legislators to call:
Senator Cynthia Nava, Senate Sponsor, Chair of the Senate Education
Committee, (505) 986-4834

Representative Cheryl Williams Stapleton, House Sponsor, (505)
986-4774

Representative Rick Miera, Chair of the House Education Committee,
(505) 986-4852

BACKGROUND
Reasons for opposing higher compulsory attendance age:

> Raising the compulsory attendance age will not reduce the dropout
rate. In fact, the two states with the highest high school completion
rates (Maryland, 94.5%, and North Dakota, 94.7%) compel attendance
only to age 16, but the state with the lowest completion rate (Oregon,
75.4%) compels attendance to age 18. (These figures are three-year
averages, 1996 through 1998.)

> Most states (28) only require attendance to age 16. Older children
who do not want to learn cause classroom discipline problems,
disruptions, and violence, making learning harder for those who truly
want to learn.

> When California raised the age of compulsory attendance, the
disruption caused by unwilling students was so significant that new
schools had to be set up just to handle these students and their
behavior problems, all at the expense of the taxpayer.
Unwilling students who are forced back into the classroom are unlikely
to benefit from one year of additional schooling.

> It would require homeschool families to submit to one more year of
governmental red tape, and be exposed to one more year of the threat
of legal action or subpoena in the event of an accusation of a
violation.

> It would take away the parental freedom to decide if a 17-year-old
is ready for college or the workforce. Some 17-year-olds who are not
academically inclined benefit more from valuable work experience than
being forced to sit in a classroom.

For more information on compulsory attendance, please see our
memorandum at
http://www.hslda.org/docs/nche/Issues/E/Early_Education.asp

Sincerely,

Christopher J. Klicka, Esq.
Senior Counsel

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More reasons to join HSLDA...
http://www.hslda.org/elink.asp?id=1099

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Fax: (540) 338-2733
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