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3/6/2007 4:30:57 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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Illinois: Help Needed to Stop Expansion of State Control Over Children

Dear HSLDA members and friends:

In addition to Senator Kwame Raoul's compulsory attendance bills,
Representative Mary E. Flowers is attempting to pass a bill (H.B.
1339) which would have 4-year olds in school. Children who are 4 years
old, who have attended preschool, and who will be 5 within three
months of the beginning of school year may, under this bill, enroll in
kindergarten. The law currently states that a child must be 5 years
old as of September 1.

H.B. 1339 is scheduled to be heard in the House Elementary and
Secondary Education Committee tomorrow at 8 a.m.

For 23 years HSLDA has been battling the slow advancement and
expansion of the compulsory attendance age. The National Education
Association and various child welfare organizations have been pushing
to get children under the supervision of the state at as an early age
as possible. Senate Bill 1079 is another example of the proverbial
"foot in the door"; once the program is established for 4-year olds,
the next step is to mandate enrollment of 4-year olds. Research has
shown that early education does not make smart students (see
Background below).

Your calls in opposition of this bill are crucial to stopping this
bill. As with Senator Raoul's bills, 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 House Elementary and Secondary
Education Committee as possible. You can give them this message:

"Please vote against H.B. 1339. We believe this is a waste of taxpayer
money because it is proven that early childhood education programs
have no long-term academic benefit. Parental involvement is the key
factor for early childhood development, not the state."

Do not identify yourself as a homeschooler.

HOUSE ELEMENTARY AND SECONDARY EDUCATION COMMITTEE MEMBERS:

Chairperson, Michael K. Smith, (217) 782-8152
Vice-Chairperson, Monique D. Davis, (217) 782-0010
Republican Spokesperson, Jerry L. Mitchell, (217) 782-0535
Suzanne Bassi, (217) 782-8026
Linda CHapa LaVia, (217) 558-1002
Fred Crespo, (217) 782-0347
Lisa M. Dugan, (217) 782-5981
Roger L. Eddy, (217) 782-558-1040
Robert F. Flider, (217) 782-8398
Esther Golar, (217) 782-5971
Kevin Joyce, (217) 782-8200
Renee Kosel, (217) 782-0424
David E. Miller, (217) 782-8087
Rosemary Mulligan, (217) 782-8007
Ruth Munson, (217) 782-8020
Hary Osterman, (217) 782-8088
Brandon W. Phelps, (217) 782-5131
Sandar M. Pihos, (217) 782-8037
Robert W. Pritchard, (217) 782-0425
David Reis, (217) 782-2087
Jim Watson, (217) 782-1840
Karen A. Yarbrough, (217) 782-8120

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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-> Have you ever yelled into the wind, only to hear the sound of your
voice blown back at you?

It's hard to be heard in the midst of a storm. Trying to influence
federal legislation is much like yelling to be heard while
standing in a fierce wind. Yet when 80,000 voices join together,
they become a powerful force that cannot be drowned out.
Join HSLDA to be heard above the tempests that threaten homeschool
freedoms.

More reasons to join HSLDA...
http://www.hslda.org/elink.asp?id=1939

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