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2/7/2007 4:55:26 PM
Home School Legal Defense Association
South Dakota--Call to Stop the Expansion of State Control over Your Children

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From the HSLDA E-lert Service...
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February 7, 2007

South Dakota--Call to Stop the
Expansion of State Control over Your Children

Dear HSLDA members and friends:

Your calls are again needed to stop a bill that would expand
compulsory school attendance to a student's 18th birthday.

This will require homeschoolers to notify the state two more years and
be under their supervision.

Senate Bill 199 is presently in the Senate Education Committee, and is
scheduled for a second hearing Thursday, February 8 at 7:45 a.m.

S.B. 199 has been introduced by the Senate Education Committee at the
request of Governor Mike Rounds. The members of the Senate Education
Committee need to hear from families who oppose this expensive and
unnecessary expansion of state control over education. Legislators
need to know that families in South Dakota want to continue to make
their own decisions about work and school choices for children who
have reached the age of 16.

The first hearing on February 6 resulted in a tie vote of 3-3, with
Gray, Knudson, and Olson voting in favor of the bill, McNenny,
Peterson and Jerstad voting against, and Nesslehuf excused.


ACTION REQUESTED:

1. Please call as many members of the Senate Education Committee as
possible and urge them to vote against Senate Bill 199 with this
message:

"Please vote against Senate Bill 199 which would raise South Dakota's
compulsory school attendance age from 16 to 18. This bill restricts
the right of parents to choose educational or work options for their
children. This bill will also waste taxpayer dollars in requiring the
attendance of students who are unwilling to remain in school."

Please do not identify yourself as a homeschooling family, since this
issue is broader than just homeschooling.

The contact information for the members of the Senate Education
Committee is as follows:

Senator Bob Gray
Party: Republican
District: 24
Capitol: 605-773-3821

Senator Sandy Jerstad
Party: Democrat
District: 12
Capitol: 605-261-1044

Senator Dave Knudson (Vice Chairman)
Party: Republican
District: 14
Capitol: 605-224-6877

Senator Kenneth McNenny
Party: Republican
District: 29
Capitol: 605-773-3821

Senator Ben Nesselhuf
Party: Democrat
District: 17
Capitol: 605-773-3821

Senator Ed Olson (Chairman)
Party: Republican
District: 20
Capitol: 605-224-6877
7733011

Senator Jim Peterson
Party: Democrat
District: 04
Capitol: 605-695-0032

2. Please contact your own state senator and voice your opposition to
Senate Bill 199. To find the name of your state senator, use HSLDA's
Legislative Toolbox at: http://www.hslda.org/elink.asp?id=3729

To view the text of Senate Bill 199, please visit:
http://www.hslda.org/elink.asp?id=3728

BACKGROUND:

> 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.)

> 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 work force. (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=3623 .

Sincerely,

Scott A. Woodruff
HSLDA Staff Attorney

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More reasons to join HSLDA...
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