From the HSLDA E-lert Service:


4/23/2007 8:58:02 AM
Home School Legal Defense Association
California: AB 1236 Joint Legislative Alert - April 23, 2007

From the HSLDA E-lert Service...

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From: Roy Hanson's Private and Home Educators of California and HSLDA

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Bill: AB 1236 (as amended) - 5 Year-Old Compulsory Education
Author: State Assembly Member Gene Mullin

Position: Strongly OPPOSE

Status: Scheduled to be heard in California State Assembly Education
Committee Wednesday, April 25, 2007.

Summary of Concern:
AB 1236 would lower the compulsory education age from 6 to 5 years of
age, in effect making kindergarten mandatory. AB 1236 also would take
another incremental step toward a universal preschool program for 3
and 4 year-olds.

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Information Included In This E-mail:
A. Action Items
B. Background Information
C. Opposition Points to Share with Legislators

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A. Action Items:

1) CALL IMMEDIATELY (Preferably before 3:00 pm Tuesday, April 24th)
the member of the Assembly Education Committee according to the first
letter of your Last Name as indicated in the alphabetized list below.

2) CALL your Assembly Member.
(You can find your Assembly Member's Capitol phone and fax numbers,
and address by entering your 9-digit ZIP code in HSLDA's Legislative
Tool Box at, or by calling the office in
your county that handles voter registration.)

Ask them to -
"Please vote no on AB 1236 (by Mullin). It is not in the best
interest of our children to force every parent to enroll their
children in a formal educational program at 5 years of age."

3. Consider following up your calls with a brief letter or fax.
(Please refer to the "Opposition Points to Share with Legislators" for
additional ideas in writing your letter or fax.)

> Call as a parent and citizen. This bill directly affects all
families with young children.
> Do not disclose the source of this Alert. All bills are available
on the internet.
> Because e-mails are easily ignored, letters are significantly more
> Reprint this for your friends, church, school, and group.
> Pray for a proper outcome.

For Action Item #1 above, please call the member of the Assembly
Education Committee according to the first letter of your last name as
indicated in the following list:

Julia Brownley
Phone: (916) 319-2041
Fax: (916) 319-2141

Joe Coto
Phone: (916) 319-2023
Fax: (916) 319-2123

Mike Eng
Phone: (916) 319-2049
Fax: (916) 319-2149

Martin Garrick
Phone: (916) 319-2074
Fax: (916) 319-2174

Loni Hancock
Phone: (916) 319-2014
Fax: (916) 319-2114

Bob Huff
Phone: (916) 319-2060
Fax: (916) 319-2160

Betty Karnette
Phone: (916) 319-2054
Fax: (916) 319-2154

Gene Mullin (Author)
Phone: (916) 319-2019
Fax: (916) 319-2199

Alan Nakanishi
Phone: (916) 319-2010
Fax: (916) 319-2110

Jose Solorio
Phone: (916) 319-2069
Fax: (916) 319-2169

(Please use one or more of the "Opposition Points to Share with
Legislators" stated below when you call.)

B. Background Information:

> AB 1236 would lower the compulsory attendance age for entry into
school from 6 to 5 years of age. This requirement would apply to all
children, whether their parents plan to send them to public school or
private school (including private home schools).

> Rushing children into formal education by lowering the age for
compulsory education will exact a heavy toll on the development of
many children and will weaken the role of parents in their lives.
This is diametrically opposed to the message parents are routinely
given, that parents need to be more involved in their children's
lives. However, parents cannot be more involved when the state either
encourages or requires children to be with their parents for less
time. Research supports later rather than earlier entry of children
into institutionalized settings for educational development.

> AB 1236 encroaches on the fundamental right of parents to direct
the upbringing and education of their children. It ignores the
long-standing presumption that parents act in the best interest of
their children, by requiring parents to enroll their children in
kindergarten rather than allowing them the choice specified in current
law. It disregards the parent's understanding of what would be the
best course of action for his own child's education and development.

> AB 1236 also would establish voluntary a kindergarten readiness
program for every child under 5 years of age in participating

> Advocates of government control of all children would be able to
use AB 1236 as an incremental step toward establishing a seamless,
cradle-to-grave government-run education and human development
program. Passage of AB 1236 could be followed by legislation making
institutionalized preschool mandatory for every child. Universal
preschool has been proposed by legislators and openly encouraged by
proponents of early childhood education. Washington D.C. considered
3-year-old compulsory education several years ago.

C. Opposition Points to Share with Legislators:

1. AB 1236 would place an increased financial burden on parents who
desire to enroll their children in private schools starting with the
first grade.

2. AB 1236 is not necessary. According to the Assembly Education
Committee in 2003, 91-95% of all children of kindergarten age already
attend public or private kindergarten. Parents who desire to enroll
their children at age 5 in California can choose to do so already. In
September 2002, Governor Davis vetoed AB 634, which addressed
mandatory kindergarten attendance saying, "I am concerned that this
bill would unduly restrict a parent's or guardian's education choices
for their children. I believe parents should retain the right to
choose an education program for their 5-year old children."

3. In 2002, when Governor Davis vetoed AB 634, which is almost
identical to AB 1236, he said, "...the state is already poised to
study the effect of similar policy through AB 25.... [which] requires
... a final report by January 1, 2008. Therefore, it would be
premature to sign AB 634 prior to receiving the results of the
evaluation." Subsequently the Legislature revised this final report
date to January 1, 2012.

4. AB 1236 decreases beneficial parental contact with their
children. An extra year of development outside of school can be
critical for a child at this early age. Carl Zinsmeister, Adjunct
Research Associate at the American Enterprise Institute for Public
Policy Research, says, "Declining parental attachment is an extremely
serious risk to children today. The verdict of enormous psychological
literature is that time spent with the parent is the very clearest
correlate of healthy child development." Parents should continue to
have the authority to decide what is best for their children.

5. AB 1236 is based on faulty information. Arthur Jensen, a
learning psychologist, wrote in the Harvard Educational Review in 1969
that Benjamin Bloom's conclusion that people develop 50% of their
mature intelligence by the age of 4 is a statistically unwarranted
conclusion. In 1970, Nancy Bayley, a University of California child
psychologist whose data Bloom used, pointed out that Bloom's theory
was wrong because it was based on an inadequate definition of
intelligence. In spite of statements to the contrary, there is no
solid evidence that early education brings any lasting or permanent
educational benefit to a child.

6. AB 1236 forces children into school too soon. There is no valid
evidence proving that mandating attendance at age 5 rather than 6 is
better for the long-term educational development of the child. To the
contrary, there is much research indicating that early childhood
education does not improve the child's potential for being a better
student in future years. This is especially significant for boys,
because their cognitive and verbal skill development generally lags
behind that of girls at this age.

7. For documentation of research supporting the above statements,
please see our background documents on early childhood education at

Permission given to reprint or forward this Action Alert unaltered to
your friends, church, school, and group.

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Roy Hanson's HELP Tree
Private and Home Educators of California
P.O. Box 730
Lincoln, CA 95648-0730
Fax: (916) 415-9470

HELP Tree Director
P.O. Box 100
Somerset, CA 95684-0100
Fax: (530) 622-4717

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The purpose of this communication is to present information and
express our position on the issue(s) addressed. We encourage you to
research this for yourself and come to your own conclusions.
Regardless of your position, we strongly urge you to exercise your
constitutional right to express your position to your elected
representatives. We have included an example of how we have expressed
our position.

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DISCLAIMER: This is considered a private and confidential message to
HELP Tree Members only. We are not responsible for the accuracy of
copies printed, forwarded, or sent by any party other than directly
from Private and Home Educators of California.

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