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3/12/2007 9:57:40 AM
Home School Legal Defense Association
New Hampshire: Calls Needed to Oppose Kindergarten Aid Bill

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From the HSLDA E-lert Service...
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March 12, 2007

New Hampshire: Calls Needed to Oppose Kindergarten Aid Bill

Dear HSLDA members and friends,

On January 31, 2007, the New Hampshire Legislature introduced House
Bill 669. The bill was passed by a voice vote on March 6 in the House
and referred to the Finance Committee Division II for work sessions on
March 14 and March 19 and an Executive Session on March 22.

Among other things, this bill authorizes a $1,200 grant to school
districts for each child that is enrolled in a public kindergarten
program. The bill also charges the department of education with
collecting data on the number of kindergarten-age children in each
district.

If passed, House Bill 669 may provide the groundwork for passage of
mandatory kindergarten legislation, which would, in effect, lower the
compulsory age of attendance. It would also create an incentive for
school districts to conduct intrusive census activities to determine
the number of eligible kindergarten-age children in a district for
funding purposes. Proponents of the bill believe that this program
benefits children by providing them with the option of beginning their
education earlier than the compulsory attendance law requires.
However, studies show that these types of programs are more costly and
less beneficial than the bill's supporters would have you believe.
There are several reasons to oppose lowering the compulsory attendance
age, including:

1) The possibility of burnout and poor scholastic performance later in
life due to a child beginning his or her formal education too early
(something many education experts verify);

2) Subjection of homeschoolers to the reporting requirements of New
Hampshire's home education statute for more years (you do not need to
share this reason with your legislators);

3) Erosion of parental authority--parents are in the best position to
determine when their child's formal education should begin;

4) Inevitable tax increases 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); and

5) Unwanted governmental intrusion--by tying funding to the number of
eligible kindergarten-age students in a district, the law would
encourage school districts to conduct aggressive and intrusive census
activities to maximize their funding potential.

ACTION REQUESTED:

(1) Contact your legislators and members of the House Finance
Committee Division II, and tell them to oppose House Bill 669.

In your own words, deliver this message:

"Please oppose House Bill 669. In addition to creating a higher tax
burden on New Hampshire citizens, this bill lays the groundwork for
compulsory kindergarten attendance and will encourage school districts
to undertake intrusive census activities to maximize their funding
potential."

You can find your legislators' contact information at
http://www.hslda.org/toolbox.

You can find contact information for the New Hampshire House Finance
Committee Division II at http://www.hslda.org/elink.asp?id=3873 .

Thank you!

Sincerely,

Michael P. Donnelly, Esq.
HSLDA Staff Attorney

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