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3/19/2008 4:54:39 PM
Home School Legal Defense Association
Kansas--Action Still Needed to Stop Expansion of State Control Over Children!

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

Dear HSLDA Members and Friends,

We expect the House Education Committee to vote soon on S.B. 399, a
bill that will expand state control over 6-year-olds. Please call to
oppose the bill!

You may be told there is an "exception" or that 6-year-olds can be
"opted out" of attendance. That is incorrect. The bill would mandate
that all 6-year-olds attend school. The "opt-out" provision simply
allows a parent to choose to enroll a child in first grade rather than
kindergarten. However, it is worded in a rather awkward manner so
that a person not reading it in context with the rest of the bill
might be misled to think there is an exemption. It allows a parent to
opt a child out of "kindergarten," but it does not allow a child to be
opted out of ATTENDANCE.

The Committee held its hearing on the bill on March 12, and it could
meet to have a vote on the bill at any time!


ACTION REQUESTED

1. Please call members of the committee if you have not already done
so. If your name begins with A-G, call those in group 1. If it
begins with H-M, call group 2. If it begins with N-S, call group 3.
If it begins with T-Z, call group 4.


2. Also, if your own representative is on the list below, be sure to
call him or her in addition. Use our Legislative Toolbox to find your
representative's name at http://www.hslda.org/toolbox .

3. Your message can be as simple as:

"Please vote against Senate Bill 399. Not all 6-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."

Or you can use information below to develop your own message.

House Education Committee Members

GROUP 1

Valdenia Winn
785-296-6838

Ann Mah
785-296-7668

Shirley Palmer
785-296-7698

Eber Phelps
785-296-7691

Ed Trimmer
785-296-7122

GROUP 2

Judith Loganbill
785-296-7669

Sheryl Spalding
785-296-7680

Bill Wolf
785-296-7678

Sue Storm, Ranking Minority Member
785-296-7650

Marti Crow
785-296-7643

Geraldine Flaharty
785-296-7651

GROUP 3

Marc Rhoades
785-296-7696

Don Hill
785-296-7641

Benjamin Hodge
785-296-7642

Steve Huebert
785-296-1754

Bill Otto
785-296-7636

Ted Powers
785-296-6014

GROUP 4

John Faber
785-296-7500

Clay Aurand, Chairperson
785-296-7672

Deena Horst, Vice-chairperson
785-296-7501

Pat Colloton
785-296-7631

Barbara Craft
785-296-1754

Owen Donohoe
785-296-7682

BACKGROUND

Senate Bill 399 would make every child 6 years of age subject to
compulsory school attendance. That means that homeschool students will
be subject to state control one full additional year. The bill
establishes a new level of state control over 6-year-olds and
undermines parental authority to make decisions on an individual
basis. Compulsory attendance starts at age 7 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.

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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-> 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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