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3/3/2008 4:46:27 PM
Home School Legal Defense Association
Maryland--Calls Needed to Oppose Compulsory Attendance Bills (Number 1)

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From the HSLDA E-lert Service...
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Maryland--Calls Needed to Oppose
Compulsory Attendance Bills (Number 1)

Dear HSLDA Members and Friends:

Your calls are needed to stop two bills that would subject 16- and
17-year-olds to compulsory attendance. This would mean two more years
for homeschool families to be under the burden of homeschool
regulations. Each will be discussed in a separate e-lert for
clarity's sake. This is Number 1, Senate Bill 436.

Senate Bill 436 will force compulsory school attendance for almost all
16- and 17-year-olds. None of the exceptions help homeschool families.
(See details below.) Parents alone know whether it's best for their
16- and 17-year-olds to stay in a formal education setting or follow
some other path. The government cannot know the needs of individual
students. One size does not fit all when it comes to school
attendance.

Everyone will benefit if parents retain the authority to make
individual decisions for their children. S.B. 436 wipes out parental
authority and makes the erroneous assumption that compelling school
attendance is the best answer for all 16- and 17-year-olds.

Please call before Wednesday, March 5 at 1 p.m., when the hearing is
scheduled in the Senate Education, Health, and Environmental Affairs
Committee.

ACTION REQUESTED:

Please call members of the committee to express your opposition.

1. Call your own senator, if he or she is on the committee (see list
below). Use our legislative toolbox to see who your senator is
http://www.hslda.org/toolbox .

2. Whether or not your senator is on the committee, call several
other committee members. If your name begins with A-G, call those we
have listed in group 1. If your last name begins with H-M, call group
2. If your last name begins with L-R, call group 3. Others call group
4. (These groupings are our own, not the legislature's.)

You can use the background information below to develop your own
thoughts, or your message can be as simple as:

"Please oppose Senate Bill 436. This costly bill will force
unwilling, unmotivated older teens to remain in classrooms where they
will cause disruption. Protect the right of parents to decide what
educational or vocational path their 16- and 17-year-olds should
follow."

It is not necessary to identify yourself as a homeschooling family,
since this bill undermines the rights of all parents.

Group 1
Joan Conway, Chair
(410) 841-3145

Roy Dyson, Vice-Chair
(410) 841-3673

Richard Colburn
(410) 841-3590

Group 2
Janet Greenip
(410) 841-3568

David Harrington
(410) 841-3745

Group 3
Andrew Harris
(410) 841-3706

Michael Lenett
(410) 841-3151

Group 4
Paul Pinsky
(410) 841-3155

James Rosapepe
(410) 841-3141


BACKGROUND

> One "exception" applies to students who have obtained a "Maryland
High School Diploma." This phrase is not defined, but clearly would
not include a parent-issued diploma, so this exception would be
worthless to homeschool students who finish their secondary education
before reaching age 18. They would be forced to follow the homeschool
regulations until age 18.

> One "exception" applies to a student currently receiving "regular,
thorough instruction during the school year..." This exception is no
exception at all! It essentially says that if you are following the
compulsory attendance law, you are exempt from the compulsory
attendance law. That's like saying you don't have to pay your taxes
if you've already paid your taxes. It's no help at all.

> There are other exceptions that will apply to so few people they are
hardly worth mentioning (like if the student is pregnant and enrolled
in an alternative program.)

> Raising the compulsory attendance age will not reduce the dropout
rate. Some states with the lowest completion rates compel attendance
to age 18.

> Twenty-eight 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.

> Mandating attendance until age 18 would restrict parents' freedom to
decide if their 16-year-old is ready for college or the work force.
(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 school.

To view the text of this bill, please go to:
http://www.hslda.org/elink.asp?id=4806 .

For more information on compulsory attendance, please see our
memorandum at http://www.hslda.org/elink.asp?id=3623.

Thank you for standing with us for freedom.

Sincerely Yours,

Scott Woodruff
HSLDA Staff Attorney

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More reasons to join HSLDA...
http://www.hslda.org/elink.asp?id=1933

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