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2/11/2009 4:38:49 PM
Home School Legal Defense Association
Michigan--Calls Still Needed to Stop Expansion of State Control Over Homeschools

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From the HSLDA E-lert Service...
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February 11, 2009

Michigan--Calls Still Needed to Stop
Expansion of State Control Over Homeschools

Dear Michigan Members and Friends:

We still need your calls to stop the expansion of the state's control
over homeschoolers and all other children. We have helped defeat
similar bills in the past--we can do it again.

The House Education Committee will be discussing H.B. 4030 and H.B.
4132 at its meeting tomorrow, Thursday, February 12, 2009, at 10:30
a.m.

If these bills are enacted into law, the government would have control
over children for an additional two years. This bill would raise the
age of compulsory school attendance from 16 years to 18 years.

House Bill 4030 was introduced by Rep. Douglas Geiss and House Bill
4132 was introduced by Rep. LaMar Lemmons. Governor Jennifer M.
Granholm has declared that she is in favor of raising the dropout age.

For more information about these bills, go to
http://www.hslda.org/elink.asp?id=6112 .

REQUESTED ACTION

Please call or email the members of the House Education Committee and
in your own words, give them this message:

"Please vote against H.B. 4030 and H.B. 4132, which raise the age of
compulsory school attendance. It only serves as a waste of taxpayers'
money--in a time of economic crisis; it would also force unwilling,
disruptive students into the classroom and take away the right of
parents to decide whether their 16-year-old is ready for valuable work
experience or college."

You do not need to mention that you homeschool.

If your last name begins with A - E, please call (or email) the
representatives numbered 1 - 5; if it begins with F - J, call 6 - 10;
if K - O, call 11 - 15; if P - S, 16 - 20; if T - Z, 21-22.

House Education Committee:

1. Tim Melton (D-Pontiac), Chair
517-373-0475
timmelton@house.mi.gov

2. Lisa Brown (D-Bloomfield Hills), Vice Chair
517-373-1799
LisaBrown@house.mi.gov

3. Tim Bledsoe (D-Grosse Pointe)
517-373-0154
TimBledsoe@house.mi.gov

4. Barb Byrum (D-Onondaga)
517-373-0587
barbbyrum@house.mi.gov

5. Marc Corriveau (D-Northville)
517-373-3816
marccorriveau@house.mi.gov

6. Doug Geiss (D-Taylor), Bill Sponsor
517-373-0852
DouglasGeiss@house.mi.gov

7. Jennifer Haase (D-Richmond)
517-373-8931
JenniferHaase@house.mi.gov

8. Deb Kennedy (D-Brownstown)
517-373-0855
DebKennedy@house.mi.gov

9. Steve Lindberg (D-Marquette)
517-373-0498
stevenlindberg@house.mi.gov

10. David Nathan (D-Detroit)
517-373-3815
DavidNathan@house.mi.gov

11. Gino Polidori (D-Dearborn)
517-373-0847
ginopolidori@house.mi.gov

12. Sarah Roberts (D-St. Clair Shores)
517-373-0113
SarahRoberts@house.mi.gov

13. Joel Sheltrown (D-West Branch)
517-373-3817
joelsheltrown@house.mi.gov

14. Mary Valentine (D-Norton Shores)
517-373-3436
maryvalentine@house.mi.gov

15. Phil Pavlov (R-St. Clair Township), Minority Vice Chair
517-373-1790
phillippavlov@house.mi.gov

16. Richard Ball (R-Laingsburg)
517-373-0841
richardball@house.mi.gov

17. Larry DeShazor (R-Portage)
517-373-1774
LarryDeShazor@house.mi.gov

18. Tom McMillin (R-Rochester Hills)
517-373-1773
TomMcMillin@house.mi.gov

19. Tom Pearce (R-Rockford)
517-373-0218
tompearce@house.mi.gov

20. Paul Scott (R-Grand Blanc)
517-373-1780
PaulScott@house.mi.gov

21. Sharon Tyler (R-Niles)
517-373-1796
SharonTyler@house.mi.gov

22. John Walsh (R-Livonia)
517-373-3920
JohnWalsh@house.mi.gov


REASONS FOR OPPOSING HIGHER COMPULSORY ATTENDANCE AGE:

Raising the compulsory attendance age will not reduce the dropout
rate. In fact, the two states with the highest high school completion
rates (Maryland, 94.5%, and North Dakota, 94.7%) compel attendance
only to age 16, but the state with the lowest completion rate (Oregon,
75.4%) compels attendance to age 18. (These figures are three-year
averages, 1996 through 1998.)

Most states (28) only require attendance to age 16. Older children who
do not want to learn cause classroom discipline problems, disruptions,
and violence, making learning harder for those who truly want to
learn.

Unwilling students who are forced back into the classroom are unlikely
to benefit from one year of additional schooling.

It would require homeschool families to submit to two more years of
governmental red tape, and be exposed to two more years of the threat
of legal action or subpoena in the event of an accusation of a
violation.

It would take away the parental freedom to decide if a 16- or
17-year-old is ready for college or the workforce. Some 16-year-olds
and 17-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 increased the age 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.

Three years after implementing policy that increased the compulsory
attendance age to 18, Texas reported only a .3% reduction in the
dropout rate and a .1% increase in the completion rate.

Four years after implementing a similar policy, Kansas reported a .89%
reduction in the dropout rate, but no change was reported in the
completion rate. Both policies failed to meet even a 2% improvement in
dropout and completion rates, therefore, neither can be considered
effective--especially considering the huge cost to taxpayers of over
$7,000 average per student.

Thank you for taking the time to make a difference!

Yours for freedom,


Chris Klicka
HSLDA Senior Counsel

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