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3/29/2007 10:10:50 AM
Home School Legal Defense Association
New York: Calls Needed to Defeat Compulsory School Attendance from 4 to 18!

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From the HSLDA E-lert Service...
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March 29, 2007

New York: Calls Needed to Defeat
Compulsory School Attendance from 4 to 18!

Dear HSLDA members and friends:

Senator John D. Sabina has introduced a compulsory attendance bill
which would require a child to attend school from as early as 4 years
and 9 months old until 18. If passed, Senate Bill 3549 would require
children to attend school three years longer than they are currently
required to.

Homeschool parents would be required to file a notice of intent, the
Individualized Home Instruction Plan (IHIP), quarterly reports and
annual assessment when their child reached 5 years of age and until
the end of the school year in which their child turns 18. In essence
S.B. 3549 adds three years for reporting for homeschool parents!

Additionally, taxes will inevitably go up to pay for the cost of three
more years of compulsory school attendance.

The bill has been referred to the Senate Education Committee so we
would like you to contact the Committee members listed below, as well
as Senator Sabina. Please contact these individuals now to urge the
defeat of Senate Bill 3549!

REQUESTED ACTION:

1) Please call or email the Senate Education Committee members listed
below and give them this message in your own words:

"Please oppose Senate Bill 3549. Lowering the school attendance takes
away the right of parents to decide whether their children are ready
for school. Raising the compulsory attendance age would only force
students into the school system who don't want to be there. This bill
will cost too much and waste taxpayers' money."

Do not identify yourself as a homeschooler, instead you can identify
yourself as a concerned parent and taxpayer.

Senate Education Committee Members

Sen. Stephen M. Saland- Chair
saland@senate.state.ny.us (518) 455-2411 or (845) 463-0840

Sen. Martin Malave Dilan
dilan@senate.state.ny.us (518) 455-2177 or (718) 573-1726

Sen. Charles J. Fuschillo
fuschill@senate.state.ny.us (516) 546-4100

Sen. Martin J. Golden
golden@senate.state.ny.us (518) 455-2730 or (718) 238-6044

Sen. Shirley L. Huntley
shuntley@senate.state.ny.us (518) 455-3531 or (718) 322-2537

Sen. Andrew J. Lanza
lanza@senate.state.ny.us (518) 455-3215

Sen. Kenneth P. LaValle
lavalle@senate.state.ny.us (518) 455-3121or (631) 696-6900

Sen. Elizabeth O'C. Little
little@senate.state.ny.us (518) 455-2811 or (518) 743-0968

Sen. Carl L. Marcellino
marcelli@senate.state.ny.us (518) 455-2390 or (516) 922-1811

Sen. Velmanette Montgomery
montgome@senate.state.ny.us (518) 455-3451 or (718) 643-6140

Sen. Thomas P. Morahan
morahan@senate.state.ny.us (518) 455-3261 or (845) 425-1818

Sen. Suzi Oppenheimer
oppenhei@senate.state.ny.us (518) 455-2031 or (914) 934-5250

Sen. Joseph E. Robach
robach@senate.state.ny.us (518) 455-2909 or (585) 225-3650

Sen. Eric T. Schneiderman
schneide@senate.state.ny.us (518) 455-2041 or (212) 928-5578

Sen. Jose M. Serrano
serrano@senate.state.ny.us (518) 455-2795 or (212)-828-5829

Sen. James L. Seward
seward@senate.state.ny.us (518) 455-3131 or (607) 432-5524

Sen. Toby Ann Stavisky
stavisky@senate.state.ny.us (518) 455-3461 or (718) 445-0004

2) Please call or email the sponsor of this bill, Senator John Sabini,
and give him this message in your own words:

"Please oppose Senate Bill 3549. Lowering the school attendance takes
away the right of parents to decide whether their children are ready
for school. Raising the compulsory attendance age would only force
students into the school system who don't want to be there. This bill
will cost too much and waste taxpayers' money."

Do not identify yourself as a homeschooler; instead you can identify
yourself as a concerned parent and taxpayer.

Sen. John D. Sabini
sabini@senate.state.ny.us (518) 455-2529 or (718) 639-8469

Senator Sabini is also a member of the Senate Education Committee.

BACKGROUND

Senate Bill 3549 would lower the compulsory attendance age to include
any child who turns 5 by December 1 of any given school year. If your
child is going to be 5 on November 30, 2007 then he would be required
to attend school when he was only 4 years and 9 months old!

This bill would also require students to attend school until the last
day of the school year in which they turn 18.

Some of the problems with lowering and raising the compulsory
attendance age are listed below.

> Lowering the compulsory attendance age from 6 to 5 would subject New
York home educators to the requirements of the homeschool laws one
year earlier. Homeschool parents would be required to submit a notice
of intent, IHIP, and quarterly reports for their 5-year-old. (You do
not need to share this reason with your legislators.)

> 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.

> Lowering the compulsory attendance age erodes the authority of
parents who are in the best position to determine when their child's
formal education should begin.

> 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.

> 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.

>It would restrict parents' freedom to decide if their 16-year-old is
ready for college or the workforce. (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 schools. When California raised the upper age limit 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/elink.asp?ID=1421 .

If you are not yet a member of HSLDA and would like to help us fight
for greater parental rights and homeschool freedom in New York please
visit http://www.hslda.org/join/apply.asp .

If you would like to be put on our e-mail list to receive vital
e-lerts you may sign up at
https://secure.hslda.org/hslda/elert/account.asp?Process=Subscribe .

Thank you for your part in fighting for freedom in New York!

Sincerely,

Thomas Schmidt
HSLDA Staff Attorney

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