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4/16/2007 2:07:49 PM
Home School Legal Defense Association
Alaska--Calls Needed to Oppose Expansion of State Control of Education

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From the HSLDA E-lert Service...
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April 16, 2007

Alaska--Calls Needed to Oppose Expansion of State Control of Education

Dear HSLDA members and friends:

Your calls are needed to stop Senate Bill 14, which would raise the
compulsory attendance age in Alaska from 16 to 18. This bill would
also limit the time a child under 18 could work and attend school in
one day to nine hours.

Under current law, children being taught by their parents in a home
education program are exempt from public school attendance. However,
if this bill passes, parents conducting home instruction will be
required to do so for an additional two years in order to maintain the
exemption. This expansion of state control over education would
interfere with the right of families to make decisions about work and
school choices for children who have reached the age of 16.

Senate Bill 14 is scheduled for a hearing before the Senate Special
Committee on Education on Wednesday, April 18, at 8 a..m. Your senator
and members of the committee need to know that families in Alaska
oppose this overreaching legislation. Please contact them today!

ACTION REQUESTED:

1. Please call and write as many members of the Senate Special
Committee on Education as possible and urge them to vote against
Senate Bill 14 with this message:

"Please vote against Senate Bill 14 which would raise Alaska's
compulsory school attendance age from 16 to 18. This bill restricts
the right of parents to choose educational or work options for their
children. This bill will also waste taxpayer dollars in requiring the
attendance of students who are unwilling to remain in school."

Please do not identify yourself as a homeschooling family, since this
issue is broader than just homeschooling.

The contact information for the members of the Senate Special
Committee on Education is as follows:

Sen. Gary Stevens - Chairman
(907) 465-4925
Senator_Gary_Stevens@legis.state.ak.us

Sen. Charlie Huggins - Vice Chairman
(907) 465-3878
Senator_Charlie_Huggins@legis.state.ak.us

Sen. Bettye Davis
(907) 465-3822
Senator_Bettye_Davis@legis.state.ak.us

Sen. Donnie Olson
(907) 465-3707
Senator_Donny_Olson@legis.state.ak.us

Sen. Gary Wilken
(907) 465-3709
Senator_Gary_Wilken@legis.state.ak.us

2. Please contact your own state senator and voice your opposition to
Senate Bill 14. To find the name of your state senator, use HSLDA's
Legislative Toolbox at
http://capwiz.com/hslda/state/main/?state=AK&view=myofficials

3. Please forward this email to every homeschooling family you know
who is not a member of HSLDA and urge them to contact their state
senator and members of the Senate Special Committee on Education.

To view the text of Senate Bill 14, please visit
http://www.legis.state.ak.us/PDF/25/Bills/SB0014A.PDF

BACKGROUND:
> 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/docs/nche/Issues/E/Early_Education.asp

Sincerely,

Dewitt T. Black, III
Senior Counsel
HSLDA

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