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Date:
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2/22/2007 2:25:21 PM
Home School Legal Defense Association
Illinois: Help Needed to Stop Expansion of State Control Over Children

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From the HSLDA E-lert Service...
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Dear HSLDA Members and Friends:

Senator Kwame Raoul is back. He is attempting, once again, to pass a
bill to lower the compulsory attendance age from seven to five years
old and to require all school districts to establish kindergartens for
children who are five years old. This bill, SB 541, is a step towards
Senator Raoul's continuing goal to lower the compulsory attendance age
to three. Senator Raoul expressed this aim in the committee hearing
last year.

Last year, Senator Raoul introduced SB 409, which was opposed
tirelessly by hundreds of homeschoolers. The homeschoolers were so
tenacious in their continued calls in opposing the bill, that even
though Senator Raoul thought he had the votes, he was never able to
pass it out of the House Educational Committee. Even though the bill
passed the Senate, it never got to the floor of the House after
numerous delays due to the constant barrage of phone calls.

Your phone calls and constant pressure made a difference last year.
You won the uphill battle; even though the compulsory attendance age
bill was targeted for passage and should have been passed, considering
the make up of the legislature.

Once again we are calling on you to oppose the lowering of the
compulsory attendance age to five and the establishing of mandatory
kindergarten which would result from Senator Raoul's new bill, SB 541.


We are working closely with Ralph Garcia and the Christian Home
Educators Coalition to oppose this bill.

REQUESTED ACTION

Please call as many members of the Senate Education Committee as
possible. You can give them this message:

"Please vote against SB 541, which lowers the compulsory attendance
age two years and mandates kindergarten. This bill is unnecessary and
restricts parental choice, and wastes tax payer's money since there is
no study showing any long-term positive benefits from children
attending school early."

Do not identify yourself as a homeschooler.

SENATE EDUCATION COMMITTEE MEMBERS:

Chair Kimberly A. Lightford, (217) 782-8505
Vice-Chair: Deanna Demuzio, (217) 782-8206
Jacqueline Y. Collins, (217) 782-1607
William Delgado, (217) 782-5652
Susan Garrett, (217) 782-3650
James T. Meeks, (217) 782-8066
A. J. Wilhelmi, (217) 782-8800
Dan Cronin, (217) 782-8107
J. Bradley Burzynski, (217) 782-1977
David Luechtefeld, (217) 782-8137
John J. Millner, (217) 782-8192

BACKGROUND
> According to the 2005 NAEP test scores, children from states that
have low compulsory attendance ages (5-6) did not score any higher
than children from the other states, and in some subjects their
average was actually lower.

> Many education experts have concluded that beginning a child's
formal education too early may actually result in burnout and poor
scholastic performance later.

> A report published February 6, 2007 by the Goldwater Institute
examines Stanford 9 test scores and finds Arizona kindergarten
programs initially improve learning but have no measurable impact on
reading, math, or language arts test scores by fifth grade.

The data show that students in schools with all-day kindergarten
programs have statistically significant higher 3rd-grade test scores,
but there is no impact on 5th-grade scores. This finding is consistent
with previous research. Forcing children into school early delivers
short-term benefits at best.

> Another significant impact of expanding mandatory schooling is the
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

Thank you for standing with us in this fight for freedom.

Sincerely,

Christopher J. Klicka
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-> Who's knocking on your door?

When a social service worker arrives at your door, tension can run
high. Wouldn't it be nice to get your lawyer on the phone,
providing you with immediate step-by-step guidance?

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

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Home School Legal Defense Association
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