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5/7/2007 3:44:28 PM
Home School Legal Defense Association
Massachusetts--Action Needed to Stop Expansion of State Control Over Children!

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From the HSLDA E-lert Service...
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May 7, 2007

Massachusetts--Action Needed to Stop
Expansion of State Control Over Children!

Dear HSLDA members and friends,

The Massachusetts Legislature has introduced a number of bills that
affect homeschoolers. Eight of these bills would increase the age of
compulsory school attendance from 16 to 18 years.

All of these bills were referred to the Joint Education Committee and
are scheduled for a hearing tomorrow, May 8, 2007, at 1:30 p.m.

Your legislators need to hear what you think about this proposed
legislation.


ACTION REQUESTED

1) Attend tomorrow's hearing at 1:30 p.m. in the Gardner Auditorium at
the State House to stand with other advocates of parental rights. A
representative from HSLDA will be there as well to gather information
and develop a strategy for defeating these bills.

2) Please contact members of the House Education Committee (listed
below) and ask them to oppose an increase in the age of compulsory
school attendance. Because this bill affects all students, you need
not identify yourself as a homeschooler. If your last name begins
with the letter A-I, please contact members 1-6; if J-T, contact
members 7-13; if U-Z, contact members 14-17. Contact as many members
as possible, and, in your own words, give them the following messages:


Compulsory Attendance Bills: "Please oppose all bills that raise the
compulsory school attendance age to 18. This change is unnecessary,
and even harmful to families, as it takes away parental
decision-making authority and wastes taxpayer money. Additionally,
forcing unwilling older students back into school could cause
significant classroom disruptions, preventing other students from
learning and costing the state more money in attempts to deal with
them."

You do not need to mention that you are a homeschooler, as these bills
affect all Massachusetts families.

Joint Committee on Education - (617) 722-2070

1. Sen. Robert A. Antonioni (D), Chair
(617) 722-1230
Robert.Antonioni@state.ma.us

2. Sen. Edward M. Augustus, Jr. (D), Vice-Chair
(617) 722-1485
Edward.Augustus@state.ma.us

3. Sen. Pamela P. Resor (D)
(617) 722-1120
Pamela.Resor@state.ma.us

4. Sen. Karen Spilka (D)
(617) 722-1640
Karen.E.Spilka@state.ma.us

5. Sen. Dianne Wilkerson (D)
(617) 722-1673
Dianne.Wilkerson@state.ma.us

6. Sen. Scott P. Brown (R)
(617) 722-1555
Scott.P.Brown@state.ma.us

7. Rep. Patricia A. Haddad (D), Chair
(617) 722-2070
Rep.PatriciaHaddad@hou.state.ma.us

8. Rep. Geraldine Creedon (D), Vice-Chair
(617) 722-2070
Rep.GeraldineCreedon@hou.state.ma.us

9. Rep. Douglas W. Petersen (D)
(617) 722-2637
Rep.DouglasPetersen@hou.state.ma.us

10. Rep. Stephen P. LeDuc (D)
(617) 722-2230
Rep.StephenLeDuc@hou.state.ma.us

11. Rep. Alice K. Wolf (D)
(617) 722-2400
Rep.AliceWolf@hou.state.ma.us

12. Rep. Alice Hanlon Peisch (D)
(617) 722-2080
Rep.AlicePeisch@hou.state.ma.us

13. Rep. Martha M. Walz (D)
(617) 722-2460
Rep.MartyWalz@Hou.State.MA.US

14. Rep. Robert L. Rice, Jr. (D)
(617) 722-2060
Rep.RobertRice@Hou.State.MA.US

15. Rep. Rosemary Sandlin (D)
(617) 722-2400
Rep.RosemarySandlin@Hou.State.MA.US

16. Rep. Jeffrey D. Perry (R)
(617) 722-2396
Rep.JeffreyPerry@hou.state.ma.us

17. Rep. Richard J. Ross (R)
(617) 722-2305
Rep.RichardRoss@Hou.State.MA.US


BACKGROUND

> Raising the compulsory school attendance age from 16 to 18 would
subject Massachusetts home educators to the requirements of the
homeschool statute two years later than now required. (You do not
need to share this reason with your legislators.)

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

> 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.

> 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

"For Family and For Freedom!"


Michael P. Donnelly, Esq.
HSLDA Staff Attorney

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-> Will your friends stand by you in trouble?

They will if you're an HSLDA member and your homeschool is
threatened. HSLDA is ready to stand by your side along with
80,000 other homeschool families.

More reasons to join HSLDA...
http://www.hslda.org/elink.asp?id=1105

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