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2/17/2009 1:29:02 PM
Home School Legal Defense Association
Montana--Calls Needed to Oppose Compulsory Attendance Age Bill

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From the HSLDA E-lert Service...
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February 17, 2009

Montana--Calls Needed to Oppose Compulsory Attendance Age Bill

Dear HSLDA Members and Friends:

Your calls and emails are needed to stop House Bill 433, which would
expand the compulsory school attendance age in Montana from 7 to 6 as
the required starting age and from 16 to 17 or graduation from high
school as the time when a student may leave school. A hearing on this
bill is scheduled in the House Education Committee at 3:00 p.m. on
Friday, February 20, in Room 137, so there is not much time left to
let members of the Committee know that you oppose this bill.

If this bill passes, parents will be required to comply with the
homeschool law for an additional two years. This means that parents
will have to commence the formal education of their children a year
earlier than now required and will be locked into another year of
homeschooling at a time when the child may wish to pursue other
educational options or begin a vocation. As freedom-loving
homeschoolers, we oppose any effort to expand the state's control over
education in any form.

Members of the House Education Committee need to hear from you today!

Action Requested:

1. Please call and/or email as many members of the House Education
Committee as possible with this message:

"Please vote against House Bill 433, which would expand Montana's
compulsory school attendance age. This bill restricts the right of
parents to choose when a child is ready for formal education and when
a child may pursue other educational or work options. This bill will
also waste taxpayer dollars, because there is nothing to indicate that
early schooling results in any educational advantage for the child.
Requiring the attendance of students who are unwilling to remain in
school beyond age 16 will have a disruptive effect on other students'
learning."

When calling members of the Committee, do not identify yourself as a
homeschooler. This is broader than just a homeschooling issue.

The members of the House Education Committee are as follows:

Last names beginning with A-M please contact:

Rep. Wanda Grinde (Chair) (D) (HD 48) Wsgrinde@aol.com

Rep. Mark W. Blasdel (Vice Chair) (R) (HD 10) Mblasdel@bresnan.net

Rep. Robin Hamilton (D) (Vice Chair) (HD 92)
Robinlhamilton@bresnan.net

Rep. Russell S. Bean (R) (HD 17) Rtbean@3rivers.net

Rep. Paul Beck (D) (HD 59) Paul.rena@montana.net

Rep. Joel Boniek (R) (HD 61) Not Provided

Rep. Frosty Calf Boss Ribs (D) (HD 15) Frostycbr@hotmail.com

Rep. Dee L. Brown (R) (HD 03) Not Provided

Last Names beginning with N-Z please contact:

Rep. Ed Butcher (R) (HD 29) Senatorbutcher@3riversdbs.net

Rep. John Fleming (D) (HD 12) Fleming@stignatius.net

Rep. Bob Lake (R) (HD 88) Lakemill@montana.com

Rep. Sue Malek (D) (HD 98) Suemalek@yahoo.com

Rep. Edith (Edie) McClafferty (D) (HD 75) Gc1311@aol.com

Rep. Bob Wagner (R) (HD 71) Bobwagner4leg@yahoo.com

Rep. Ted Washburn (R) (HD 69) Ted@tedwashburn.com

Rep. Franke Wilmer (D) (HD 64) Frankewilmer@gmail.com

You can leave a message for The House Education Committee by calling
the Session Information Desk at (406) 444-4800.

2. Please forward this email to every family you know who is not a
member of HSLDA and urge them to contact members of the Committee.

BACKGROUND:
Many education experts have concluded that beginning a child's formal
education too early may actually result in burnout and poor scholastic
performance later.

Lowering the compulsory attendance age erodes the authority of parents
who are in the best position to determine when their child's formal
education should begin. The bill would restrict parents' freedom to
decide if their children are ready for school.

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.

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 work force. Some 16-year-olds who are not
academically inclined will benefit more from valuable work experience
than from being forced to sit in a classroom.

To view the text of this bill, please go to
http://www.hslda.org/elink.asp?id=6130

For more information on compulsory school attendance, please see our
memorandum at http://www.hslda.org/elink.asp?id=6131

Please call or email today!


Sincerely,

Dewitt T. Black, III
HSLDA Senior Counsel

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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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