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3/6/2007 1:48:37 PM
Home School Legal Defense Association
Maryland--Calls Needed to Oppose Compulsory Attendance Bill

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From the HSLDA E-lert Service...
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Maryland--Calls Needed to Oppose Compulsory Attendance Bill

Dear HSLDA members and friends:

Your calls are needed to stop a bill that would expand compulsory
school attendance for some students to their 18th birthday.

Senate Bill 688 would require students between the ages of 16 and 18
who withdraw from public or private school to take a diploma
examination. If they fail, they would be subject to compulsory
attendance requirements until age 18.

This bill is in the Senate Education, Health, and Environmental
Affairs Committee, and is scheduled for a hearing Wednesday, March 7
at 1 p.m.

The committee members need to hear from families who oppose this
expensive and unnecessary expansion of state control over education.
Legislators need to know that families in Maryland want to continue to
make their own decisions about work and school choices for children
who have reached the age of 16.

ACTION REQUESTED:

Please call the members of the Senate Education, Health, and
Environmental Affairs committee immediately and urge them to vote
against Senate Bill 688 with this message:

"Please vote against Senate Bill 688. It restricts the right of
parents to choose educational or work options for their children. This
costly bill will also force unwilling, unmotivated older teens to
remain in classrooms where they will cause disruption."

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


CONTACT INFORMATION

Joan Carter Conway, Chair
(410) 841-3145

Roy P. Dyson, Vice-Chair
(410) 841-3673

Gwendolyn T. Britt
(410) 841-3745

Richard F. Colburn
(410) 841-3590

Janet Greenip
(410) 841-3568

Andrew P. Harris
(410) 841-3706

J. Robert Hooper
(410) 841-3603

Michael G. Lenett
(410) 841-3151

Paul G. Pinsky
(410) 841-3155

James C. Rosapepe
(410) 841-3141

Robert A. Zirkin
(410) 841-3131

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.

> Mandating attendance until age 18 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 school.

To view the text of this bill, please go to:
http://www.hslda.org/elink.asp?id=3839

For more information on compulsory attendance, please see our
memorandum at http://www.hslda.org/elink.asp?id=3623 .

Thank you for standing with us for freedom.

Sincerely Yours,

Scott A. Woodruff
HSLDA Staff Attorney

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-> How long are you in for?

Some families are facing what seems like a lifelong commitment to
homeschooling, with children at both ends of the spectrum -- some
graduating and some just reaching school age. If you're going to
be "in" for a while, consider a lifetime membership with HSLDA.
It's a good deal for families with more than 10 years of
homeschooling ahead.

More reasons to join HSLDA...
http://www.hslda.org/elink.asp?id=1936

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Home School Legal Defense Association
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Fax: (540) 338-2733
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