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Date:
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5/2/2007 4:18:21 PM
Home School Legal Defense Association
Oregon: Calls Needed to Defeat Bill That Lowers School Age to 6

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From the HSLDA E-lert Service...
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May 2, 2007

Oregon: Calls Needed to Defeat Bill That Lowers School Age to 6

Dear HSLDA members and friends:

While we have already urged you to contact the House Education
Subcommittee members and urge them to amend Senate Bill 392, we have
just learned that the subcommittee may be willing to kill the entire
bill. In light of this information, we are asking you to contact the
subcommittee members and urge them to kill the bill.

If passed, Senate Bill 392 would lower the compulsory school
attendance age in Oregon from 7 to 6. The Senate has already passed
this bill.

By lowering the compulsory school age, this bill could force many
parents to send their children to school before they are ready.
Additionally, homeschool parents would be required to submit their
documentation a whole year earlier than they do now.

Please contact all of the members of the Subcommittee on Innovation
and urge them to kill this bill. If your representative is on the
committee, please make sure to call him or her. Your attendance at the
hearing tomorrow could impact whether this bill is defeated. So, if
you can, please attend the hearing on Thursday, May 3.

REQUESTED ACTION:

1) Please call or email the House Education Subcommittee on Innovation
members listed below and give them this message in your own words:

"Please oppose Senate Bill 392. This bill will prevent parents from
deciding when their child is ready for school. Please ensure this bill
is defeated."

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

If your representative is on the subcommittee please make sure you
call him or her. You can use HSLDA's legislative toolbox at
http://www.hslda.org/toolbox to identify your state representative.

House Education Innovation Subcommittee Members:

Representative Betty Komp (D), Chair
Email: rep.bettykomp@state.or.us
Phone: 503-986-1422

Representative Karen Minnis (R), Vice-Chair
Email: rep.karenminnis@state.or.us
Phone: 503-986-1449

Representative Arnie Roblan (D), Vice-Chair
Email: rep.arnieroblan@state.or.us
Phone: 503-986-1409

Representative Peter Buckley (D) (Chair of the House Education
Committee)
Email: rep.peterbuckley@state.or.us
Phone: 503-986-1405

Representative Ben Cannon (D)
Email: rep.bencannon@state.or.us
Phone: 503-986-1446

Representative John H Dallum (R)
Email: rep.johndallum@state.or.us
Phone: 503-986-1459

Representative Gene Whisnant (R)
Email: rep.genewhisnant@state.or.us
Phone: 503-986-1453

2) If you are able, please come to the hearing on Senate Bill 392 on
Thursday, May 3. The hearing is scheduled to begin a 1 p.m. in Hearing
Room D at the state Capitol. Directions to the Capitol are available
at http://www.leg.state.or.us/capinfo/ .

BACKGROUND:

As mentioned in earlier e-lerts, Senate Bill 392 would require all
children who are 6 years old by September 1 to enroll in school. This
would mean that homeschool parents would have to submit their notice
to their local Education Service District (ESD) a year earlier.
Additionally, since the Oregon Administrative Rules require homeschool
parents to test their children in the 3rd, 5th, 8th, and 10th year a
child has been in school, if the compulsory attendance age is lowered,
you might have begin testing your children a year earlier then you
have to now.

According to the sponsors of Senate Bill 392 the main purpose of the
legislation is to enable school officials to take action when parents
enroll their children in the public school and then treat their
child's attendance as voluntary, taking them to school whenever they
please. This is disruptive to the school and the affected class and
students.

While there are better ways to handle this problem we have learned
that the House might be willing to kill this bill and drop this entire
issue.

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

> 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.

> It would restrict parents' freedom to decide if their children are
ready for school.

> 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. While the Oregon Department of Education stated
in the public hearing that the impact will be minimal, many states
have found otherwise.

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 Oregon 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 Oregon!

Sincerely,

Thomas Schmidt
HSLDA Staff Attorney

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