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1/29/2008 11:56:00 AM
Home School Legal Defense Association
West Virginia--Calls Needed to Oppose Expansion of State Control Over Children

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From the HSLDA E-lert Service...
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January 28, 2008

West Virginia--Calls Needed to Oppose
Expansion of State Control Over Children

Dear HSLDA Members and Friends,

Delegate Sharon Spencer (D-Kanawha) has introduced a bill, H.B. 2088,
that would raise the compulsory school attendance age from 16 to 18
years old. H.B. 2088 would significantly limit the freedom of all West
Virginia families with regard to their ability to make their own
educational decisions.

To view the bill, go to http://www.hslda.org/elink.asp?id=4680 .


ACTION REQUESTED

If you live in her district, please contact the bill's sponsor,
Delegate Sharon Spencer, immediately.

You can use our Legislative Toolbox at http://www.hslda.org/toolbox to
see if you are in Delegate Spencer's district.

Please give her the following message in your own words:

"I oppose raising the age of compulsory attendance in West Virginia
because it will:

> Not accomplish the intended objective of increasing high school
completion rates;

> Create classroom difficulties by overburdening teachers and
administrators;

> Place new and unnecessary burdens and restriction on the liberty of
all parents;

> Unnecessarily restrict the liberty of 16-year-olds who, with their
parent's permission, wish to enroll in post-secondary education or
pursue a vocational calling;

> Redirect funds needed from other more important programs."

You do not need to mention that you are a homeschooler. This issue
affects all parents in West Virginia and it is not necessary that we
make this a "homeschool" issue, even though it does affect
homeschooling.


BACKGROUND

1. Statistics show that 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.)

2. Twenty-nine states require school attendance only 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.

3. Another significant impact of expanding the compulsory attendance
age is an inevitable tax burden to pay for more classroom space and
teachers to accommodate the additional students compelled to attend
public schools. When California raised the age 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.

4. A study by Cornell University on raising the age of compulsory
attendance found that there was no correlation between passing a law
to raise the age of compulsory attendance and high school completion
rates. The study shows that specific programs targeted at at-risk
youth can help improve completion rates, but a law raising the age of
attendance does not. To read the report visit
http://www.hslda.org/elink.asp?id=3626.

For more information on compulsory attendance legislation please go to
our website at http://www.hslda.org/elink.asp?id=4681 .

Thank you for your vigilance on behalf of all West Virginia parents!


Sincerely,

Scott Woodruff
HSLDA Staff Attorney

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-> You can only do so much...

No one can be everywhere at once. And you can't be at home,
teaching your children, while monitoring your state's legislature.
Through electronic legislative services, HSLDA is monitoring state
legislation for you -- watching and listening carefully for any
proposed laws that could erode your right to homeschool.
Join HSLDA today-we'll watch out for your future.

More reasons to join HSLDA...
http://www.hslda.org/elink.asp?id=1942

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