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2/9/2007 3:18:05 PM
Home School Legal Defense Association
Arizona: 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 9, 2007

Arizona: Call to Stop the Expansion
of State Control Over Your Children

Dear HSLDA members and friends:

House Bill 2670 has been introduced in the Arizona legislature. This
bill would raise the compulsory school attendance age from 16 to 18.

This would require homeschool parents to continue to follow Arizona
law two years later than they currently do.

Under Arizona law a parent has to notify their county school
superintendent when their child is no longer being taught at home.
While a parent is not currently required to notify their
superintendent when their child graduates from the homeschool program
at 16 or 17, changing the compulsory attendance age would require
notification if that child graduated before age 18.

Most public school students who are under 18 continue to attend the
public school after they reach 16. However, this bill will force those
children who do not want to attend school after age 16 back into the
system. Raising the compulsory attendance age will result in
substantial increase in educational spending to cover the costs of
more teachers, more classrooms and more truancy cases.

Parents should be able to determine when their children are ready to
finish school and go on to college or get a job.

Please contact your representative and the committee members listed
below and urge them not to raise the compulsory attendance age to 18.

REQUESTED ACTION:

1) Please call your state representative and give him or her the
following message in your own words:

"Please oppose House Bill 2670. This bill takes away parental
decision-making authority. H.B 2670 will only add students who don't
want to be there to the local school system and will only add to the
tax burden of average citizens."

Do not identify yourself as a homeschooler. Instead, you can simply
call as a concerned parent and taxpayer.

You can use HSLDA's legislative toolbox at
http://www.hslda.org/toolbox to find the name and contact information
for your state representative.

2) Please call and email the committee chairman and vice-chairman of
each of the committees listed below. Your message should be in your
own words and could be something like this:

"Please oppose House Bill 2670. This bill takes away parental decision
making authority. H.B. 2670 will only add students who don't want to
be there to the local school system and will only add to the tax
burden of average citizens."

Do not identify yourself as a homeschooler. Instead, you can simply
call as a concerned parent and taxpayer.

House Education Committee

Representative Mark Anderson- Chairman
Phone Number: (602) 926-4467
Email Address: manderson@azleg.gov

Representative Andrew M. Tobin- Vice-Chairman
Phone Number: (602) 926-5172
Email Address: atobin@azleg.gov

House Appropriations Committee

Representative Russell K. Pearce- Chairman
Phone Number: (602) 926-5760
Email Address: rpearce@azleg.gov

Representative Trish Groe- Vice-Chairman
Phone Number: (602) 926-5408
Email Address: tgroe@azleg.gov


BACKGROUND

> Raising the compulsory attendance age from 16 to 18 would subject
Arizona home educators to the requirements of the homeschool two years
longer than now required. (You do not need to share this reason with
your legislators.)

> 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 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.)

> 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/docs/nche/Issues/E/Early_Education.asp .

If you are not yet a member of HSLDA and would like to help us fight
for homeschool freedom and parental rights in Arizona please visit
http://www.hslda.org/join/apply.asp . Join or renew for two years and
you get the Drive Thru History--America DVD and curriculum free, a $50
value.

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 Arizona.

Sincerely,

Thomas J. Schmidt
HSLDA Staff Attorney

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