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2/7/2008 3:57:22 PM
Home School Legal Defense Association
Iowa--Action Needed to Stop Expansion of State Control Over Children!

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From the HSLDA E-lert Service...
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Iowa--Action Needed to Stop
Expansion of State Control Over Children!

Dear HSLDA Members and Friends,

Calls are needed immediately to stop a bill that would take away the
right of parents to decide if their 5-year-old children are ready to
go to school.

Representative Doris Kelley's House File 2106 would make every child 5
years of age subject to compulsory school attendance. The bill
establishes a new level of state control over 5-year-olds and
undermines parental authority to make decisions on an individual
basis. Compulsory attendance starts at age 6 now.

Studies show that some children fail because they are forced into
school too young. And sometimes they never recover. Rather than
forcing a clumsy and expensive one-size-fits-all approach,
parents--and parents alone--should have the right to decide whether a
5-year-old is mature enough emotionally, physically and socially to
start school. Studies have also shown that the academic benefits of
starting school earlier disappear after the child has been in school a
few more years.


ACTION REQUESTED

Please contact the members of the House Education Subcommittee (listed
below) by dialing the House Switchboard at 515-281-3221, and ask them
to oppose House File 2106.

Representative Elesha Gayman

Representative Linda Miller

Representative Doris Kelley

Your message can be as simple as:

"Please vote against House File 2106. Not all 5-year-olds are ready
for school. Only parents can make that decision. Studies show that
the benefits of starting school early are temporary. The costs of this
bill outweigh the benefits."

You do not need to mention that you are a homeschooler, since it
affects all Iowa families.

BACKGROUND

> According to the 2005 NAEP, test scores of children from states
which have low compulsory school attendance ages (5-6) did not score
any higher than children from the other states, and in some subjects
their average was actually lower.

> Many education experts have concluded that beginning a child's
formal education too early may actually result in burnout and poor
scholastic performance later.

> A report published February 6, 2007 by the Goldwater Institute
examines Stanford 9 test scores and finds Arizona kindergarten
programs initially improve learning but have no measurable impact on
reading, math, or language arts test scores by fifth grade.

The data show that students in schools with all-day kindergarten
programs have statistically significant higher 3rd-grade test scores,
but there is no impact on 5th-grade scores. This finding is consistent
with previous research. Forcing children into school early delivers
short-term benefits at best.

> Another significant impact of expanding the mandatory schooling is
the 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

Thank you for standing with us for freedom.

Sincerely yours,

Scott A. Woodruff
HSLDA Staff Attorney

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