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2/12/2007 10:23:04 AM
Home School Legal Defense Association
New Hampshire--Calls Needed to Stop Expanding State Control Over Homeschools

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From the HSLDA E-lert Service...
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February 12, 2007

New Hampshire--Calls Needed to Stop
Expanding State Control Over Homeschools

Dear HSLDA members and friends,

Earlier this month, we let you know about Senate Bill 18, which, if
passed, will expand compulsory school attendance to a student's 18th
birthday. This bill is scheduled for a hearing in the Education
Committee next Tuesday, February 20, 2007, at 8:30 a.m. in SH 103.

Senate Bill 18 would subject homeschooled students to compulsory
attendance laws for two more years. This will require homeschooling
parents to submit a notice of intent an additional two years unless
they receive approval for an "alternate learning plan" from their
school district's superintendent. The bill also exempts students who
are enrolled in an accredited post-secondary education program and
provides for an appeal procedure to the school board if the
superintendent denies a parent's "alternative learning plan".

Calls and emails are needed to stop this bill from going any further!


ACTION REQUESTED:

1) Please attend the hearing of the Senate Education Committee on
Tuesday, February 20, 2007, to demonstrate your opposition to Senate
Bill 18. Contact other homeschooling families who are not members of
HSLDA and urge them to attend this hearing as well. State lawmakers
must see that homeschoolers are willing to fight for their freedoms.

Your message can be as simple as, "Please vote against Senate Bill 18,
which raises the compulsory attendance age from 16 to 18. This bill
is unnecessary. It takes away appropriate parental decision making
authority and wastes taxpayer money."

2) Please contact members of the Senate Education Committee (listed
below) and ask them to oppose Senate Bill 18. This bill affects all
students, so it is not necessary to identify yourself as a
homeschooler.

You may also use our legislative toolbox at
http://www.hslda.org/toolbox to obtain contact information for your
representative.

Members of the Senate Education Committee:

Education Committee Phone Number is (603) 271-4151

Iris W. Estabrook (Chair)
Phone: (603) 868-5524
Email: iris.estabrook@leg.state.nh.us

Joseph A. Foster (Vice-Chair)
Phone: (603) 891-0307
Email: joseph.foster@leg.state.nh.us

Martha Fuller Clark
Phone: (603) 436-2464
Email: martha.fullerclark@leg.state.nh.us

Molly M. Kelly
Phone: (603) 352-5605
Email: molly.kelly@leg.state.nh.us

Peter E. Bragdon
Phone: (603) 673-7135
Email: peter.bragdon@leg.state.nh.us

Robert J. Letourneau
Phone: (603) 434-1038
Email: robert.letourneau@leg.state.nh.us


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 would be an inevitable tax increase to pay
for more classroom space and teachers to accommodate the additional
students. 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 .

Thank you for standing with us for freedom.

Sincerely,

Michael P. Donnelly, Esq.
HSLDA Staff Attorney

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