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3/6/2007 2:10:53 PM
Home School Legal Defense Association
Illinois: Calls Needed to Stop Expansion of State Control Over Children

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From the HSLDA E-lert Service...
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Illinois: Calls Needed to Stop
Expansion of State Control Over Children

Dear HSLDA members and friends:

Tomorrow, March 7, at 2:30 p.m., the Senate Education Committee will
hear two bills which would increase state control over children.
Senate Bill 541 and Senate Bill 543 were introduced by Senator Kwame
Raoul. His goal is to lower the compulsory attendance age to 3.

Last year when Senator Raoul introduced a bill to extend compulsory
attendance, your constant barrage of phone calls won the uphill
battle.

We need your help again.

S.B. 541 lowers the compulsory attendance age to 5 from the current
age of 7. It also requires that every school district establish a
kindergarten program. Lastly, this bill requires school attendance of
any child under age 5 or over age 17 who is enrolled in school.

S.B. 543 extends the truancy laws to those who are in kindergarten by
defining as a "dropout" any child enrolled in grades kindergarten
through 12 whose name has been removed from the district enrollment
roster and has not transferred to another school.

Both of these bills would be a strong step towards Senator Raoul's
goal of having all children in school by age 3.

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

REQUESTED ACTION

Please call as many members of the Senate Education Committee as
possible before the hearing tomorrow at 2:30. You can give them this
message:

"Please vote against S.B. 541 and S.B. 543. These bills take control
away from the parents and give it to the state by making kids start
school before they may be ready. These bills are unnecessary, restrict
parental choice, and waste tax payers' 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 the 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
HSLDA Senior Counsel

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-> How many acorns can a chipmunk hold in its cheeks?

We don't know! But we do know that gathering little by little
enables ordinary folks to prepare for hard times. That principle
is behind HSLDA's payment plan: by paying a month at a time,
families can receive an annual HSLDA membership. Meanwhile, they
can feel secure as they homeschool and focus on other priorities
-- their children. Don't go nuts trying to pay for membership all
at
once. Choose one of our convenient payment plans.

More reasons to join HSLDA...
http://www.hslda.org/elink.asp?id=1937

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