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3/7/2007 2:45:35 PM
Home School Legal Defense Association
Florida: Calls Needed to Stop Expansion of State Control over Homeschoolers

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From the HSLDA E-lert Service...
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March 7, 2007

Florida: Calls Needed to Stop
Expansion of State Control over Homeschoolers

Dear Florida members and friends,

The Florida legislative session began March 6, 2007. Two bills have
been introduced that would affect homeschoolers by requiring them to
maintain a portfolio and have their children evaluated or tested two
more years.

If either Senate Bill 360 or House Bill 277 pass, the government would
have control over children for an additional two years. These bills
would raise the age of compulsory attendance from 16 years to 18
years. In addition, H.B. 277 would tie the ability of a minor to
renew a driver's license to proving attendance in school.

We hope that your calls will cause the sponsors to withdraw the bill
even before there is a hearing.

REQUESTED ACTION

Please call the sponsors of these bills, Representative Geraldine
"Geri" Thompson (sponsor of H.B. 277) at (407) 245-1511 and Senator
Frederica Wilson (sponsor of S.B. 360) at (305) 654-7150 to give them
this message:

"Please abandon your efforts to raise the age of compulsory school
attendance. It only serves as a waste of taxpayers' money; it would
force unwilling, disruptive students into the classroom, and take away
the right of parents to decide whether their 16-year-old is ready for
valuable work experience or college."

You do not need to mention that you homeschool.

REASONS FOR OPPOSING HIGHER COMPULSORY ATTENDANCE AGE:

> Raising the compulsory attendance age will not reduce the dropout
rate. In fact, the two states with the highest high school completion
rates (Maryland, 94.5%, and North Dakota, 94.7%) compel attendance
only to age 16, but the state with the lowest completion rate (Oregon,
75.4%) compels attendance to age 18. (These figures are three-year
averages, 1996 through 1998.)

> Most states (28) only require attendance to age 16. Older children
who do not want to learn cause classroom discipline problems,
disruptions, and violence, making learning harder for those who truly
want to learn.

> Unwilling students who are forced back into the classroom are
unlikely to benefit from one year of additional schooling.

> It would require homeschool families to submit to two more years of
governmental red tape, and be exposed to two more years of the threat
of legal action or subpoena in the event of an accusation of a
violation.

> It would take away the parental freedom to decide if a 16- or
17-year-old is ready for college or the workforce. Some 16-year-olds
and 17-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 schools. When California increased 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

Yours for freedom,

Chris Klicka
HSLDA Senior Counsel

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-> You can only do so much...

No one can be everywhere at once. And you can't be at home,
teaching your children, while monitoring your state's legislature.
Through electronic legislative services, HSLDA is monitoring state
legislation for you -- watching and listening carefully for any
proposed laws that could erode your right to homeschool.
Join HSLDA today-we'll watch out for your future.

More reasons to join HSLDA...
http://www.hslda.org/elink.asp?id=1942

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