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2/28/2008 4:00:03 PM
Home School Legal Defense Association
Kentucky--Please Call Now on Bill that Raises Compulsory School Age!

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

Kentucky--Please Call Now on Bill that Raises Compulsory School Age!

Dear HSLDA Members and Friends,

House Bill 294 was introduced earlier this year in the Kentucky
legislature to address the problem public schools have had with
students dropping out. The bill did not impact the homeschool
community and passed the House late last month by a 93-1 vote.

However, just last week, Senator R. J. Palmer filed an amendment,
Senate Floor Amendment 1 (SFA1), that would raise the compulsory
school attendance age from 16 to 18. If passed, this amendment would
require homeschool parents to report to their local school district
for two more years.

Additionally, this amendment would limit parents' right to decide when
their child was ready to finish school. If parents wanted to stop
their child's education program before the child had graduated or
turned 18, they and the child would have to have a counseling session
with local public school officials before they would be allowed to do
so.

House Bill 294 has been sent to the Senate Rules Committee and could
be reported to the full Senate any day for debate and a vote. It is
important to act now to defeat the floor amendment that has been
proposed.

Please contact your state senator now and urge him or her to oppose
Senate Floor Amendment 1 to House Bill 294. If your state senator is
Senator Palmer urge him to withdraw his floor amendment.

REQUESTED ACTION:

1) Please call and/or email your state senator and give him or her
this message in your own words:

"Please oppose Senate Floor Amendment 1 for House Bill 294. This bill
takes away the right of parents to decide whether their children are
ready for college or the workforce. Raising the compulsory attendance
age would only force students into the school system who don't want to
be there and will not improve the local dropout rate. This amendment
will cost too much with little or no results, wasting taxpayers'
money."

Do not identify yourself as a homeschooler, but instead call as a
concerned taxpayer and parent from your senator's district.

To find the name and contact information for your state
representative, use HSLDA's Legislative Toolbox at
http://www.hslda.org/toolbox . You can find email addresses for nearly
all of the senators here: http://www.lrc.ky.gov/whoswho/email.htm .

You can also call the Toll-Free Legislative Message Line at
1-800-372-7181 to leave a message for your state senator.

BACKGROUND:

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

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.

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.)

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

House Bill 294 has already passed the House, but only in its original
form. If SFA 1 passes the Senate, the bill would be sent back to the
House for concurrence.

If passed, SFA1 would raise the compulsory attendance age from 16 to
18 on July 1, 2010.

If you are not yet a member of HSLDA and would like to help us fight
for homeschool freedom and parental rights in Kentucky please visit
http://www.hslda.org/join/apply.asp . Join or renew for two years and
you get the Drive Thru History-America DVD and curriculum free, a $50
value.

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 calls on behalf of continued freedom in Kentucky.


Sincerely,

Thomas J. (Tj) Schmidt
Staff Attorney

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