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5/6/2008 3:14:57 PM
Home School Legal Defense Association
Michigan: Calls Needed to Stop Expansion of State Control Over Children

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From the HSLDA E-lert Service...
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May 6, 2008

Michigan: Calls Needed to Stop
Expansion of State Control Over Children

Dear HSLDA Members and Friends:

In February, we asked you to call the members of the House Education
Committee to oppose H.B. 4662, which would lower the age of compulsory
school attendance to 5 years. Unfortunately, this bill passed the
Committee.

H.B. 4662 has now been referred for a second reading--meaning that the
full Michigan State House could vote on H.B. 4662 at any time.

Please call and email your state representative. We are working
closely with INCH and legislative staff.

REQUESTED ACTION

Please call your Michigan State Representative within the next week.
You can give this message:

"Please vote against H.B. 4662, which lowers the compulsory attendance
age to age 5 and mandates kindergarten. This bill is unnecessary,
restricts parental choice and wastes taxpayers' money since there is
no study showing any long-term positive benefits from children
attending school early."

Do not identify yourself as a homeschooler.

To find your state representative you can use HSLDA's legislative
toolbox http://www.hslda.org/elink.asp?id=5096 or the Michigan State
Website http://house.michigan.gov/find_a_rep.asp .

Also please send a blind copy of any email you send to your legislator
to elert@inch.org so we can keep track of the number of responses for
lobbying purposes.

BACKGROUND
> According to the 2005 NAEP test scores, children from states that
have low compulsory 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 5th 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/elink.asp?id=5097 .

Thank you for standing with us in this fight for freedom.

Sincerely,

Christopher J. Klicka
HSLDA Senior Counsel

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