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5/9/2007 10:35:03 AM
Home School Legal Defense Association
Oregon: Calls Needed to Oppose Expanded Control Over Children

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From the HSLDA E-lert Service...
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May 9, 2007

Oregon: Calls Needed to Oppose Expanded Control Over Children

Dear HSLDA members and friends:

Yesterday the House Education Subcommittee on Innovation moved Senate
Bill 392 out of committee and to the full Education Committee. Due to
your calls and opposition, they did not give the standard "do pass"
recommendation. However, the full House Education Committee needs to
hear from you immediately, as they will likely vote on the bill today.

As you know, 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 House Education Committee members listed
below and urge them to defeat this bill. While it would be best if you
could contact all of the Committee members, the first three are key
legislators in this battle. Short emails, personalized and in your own
words, work best. This issue affects more than just homeschooling
families, so you do not need to identify yourself as a homeschooler.

If possible, you can also attend the House Education Committee meeting
today at 1 p.m. in Hearing Room D. While no testimony will be heard,
the committee does recognize opposition to the bill.

REQUESTED ACTION:

1) Please email the House Education Committee 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 committee, please make sure you let
him or her know you are a constituent. You can use HSLDA's legislative
toolbox at http://www.hslda.org/toolbox to identify your state
representative.

House Education Committee Members:

Representative Arnie Roblan (D)
Email: rep.arnieroblan@state.or.us

Representative Brian Clem (D)
Email: rep.brianclem@state.or.us

Representative John Lim (R)
Email: rep.johnlim@state.or.us

Representative Peter Buckley (D) (Chair)
Email: rep.peterbuckley@state.or.us

Representative Betty Komp (D), Vice-chair
Email: rep.bettykomp@state.or.us

Representative Mitch Greenlick(D)
Email: rep.mitchgreenlick@state.or.us

Representative John H Dallum (R) Vice-chair
Email: rep.johndallum@state.or.us
(Note: Representative Dallum is a strong supporter of parents' right
to direct their children's education and voted against SB 392 in the
Subcommittee. You can thank him for his opposition to this bill.)

Representative Jerry Krummel (R)
Email: rep.jerrykrummel@state.or.us

Representative Gene Whisnant (R)
Email: rep.genewhisnant@state.or.us
(Rep. Whisnant is a strong supporter of the right of parents' to
direct their children's education and voted against S.B. 392 in the
Subcommittee. You can thank him for his opposition to this bill.)

2) If you are able, please come to the hearing on Senate Bill 392
today. 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 email 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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