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6/6/2007 3:26:36 PM
Home School Legal Defense Association
Oregon: Urgent--Calls Needed to Prevent Mandatory School for 6-Year-Olds

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From the HSLDA E-lert Service...
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May 6, 2007

Oregon: Urgent--Calls Needed to Prevent
Mandatory School for 6-Year-Olds

Dear HSLDA members and friends:

As many of you know, Senate Bill 392, the bill that would lower the
compulsory attendance age to 6, is awaiting a vote from the full
House. OCEANetwork and OHEN have been working tirelessly on this bill.
We believe the main reason for the delay has been due to the fact that
the potential House vote is either tied or so close the proponents of
the bill have not brought it to the floor.

However, Senate Bill 392 has now been made part of the "special order
of business" for Monday, June 11. We believe it is crucial for you to
contact your representative again to voice your opposition to this
bill.

Please call and/or email representatives to let them know that you
oppose Senate Bill 392 and would like them to vote against the bill.
Even if you have contacted them in the past about Senate Bill 392 we
would like you to contact them again.

Thank you for your diligent effort this year in fighting this bill.
Please pray that God would continue to show mercy in this battle and
that this bill would be defeated. Senate Bill 392 is not as much a
homeschool issue as it is a parental rights battle to determine when a
child should go to school.

REQUESTED ACTION:

1) Please call and/or email your state representative and tell him in
your own words why you are opposed to this bill. The overall message
could be something like:

"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 and vote against the bill on Monday."

You do not need identify yourself as a homeschooler; instead you can
identify yourself as a concerned parent and constituent.

If you do not know who your representative is you can use HSLDA's
legislative toolbox at http://www.hslda.org/toolbox to identify your
state representative and find his or her contact information.

2) Please pray that Senate Bill 392 would be defeated.

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.

The House has amended the bill to have the Oregon State Board of
Education establish some procedure that would permit that an exemption
from compulsory attendance "may be granted to the parent or legal
guardian of any child who is six years of age." However, this still
prevents parents from making the decision of when their child is ready
for school and places that authority with the State Board of
Education.

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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More reasons to join HSLDA...
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