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3/5/2009 9:37:37 AM
Home School Legal Defense Association
Kentucky--Please Call Now on Bill that Raises Compulsory School Age!

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From the HSLDA E-lert Service...
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March 5, 2009

Kentucky--Please Call Now on Bill that Raises Compulsory School Age!

Dear HSLDA Members and Friends,

Recently introduced in the Kentucky legislature, House Bill 189 would
raise the compulsory school attendance age from 16 to 18. Under the
bill, the age would be raised from 16 to 17 next year and then from 17
to 18 in 2011. If passed, H.B. 189 would eventually require homeschool
parents to report to their local school district for two more years
then they are currently required to.

House Bill 189 would limit parents' rights to decided when their child
was ready to finish school. If parents wanted to stop their child's
education program before he had graduated or turned 18, they and their
child would first have to have to attend a one-hour counseling session
with local public school officials.

Additionally, this bill would cost the Kentucky taxpayers an estimated
$15 million a year. This does not include the cost of additional
teachers for these new students.

House Bill 189 has passed out of the House Education Committee and has
had its first reading. The bill will likely have its second reading
and be sent to the House Rules Committee. Once in the Rules Committee,
it could be reported to the full House for a vote. It is important to
act now to defeat this bill.

Please contact your state representative now and urge him or her to
oppose House Bill 189. If your representative has already opposed this
bill, please thank him.

REQUESTED ACTION:

1) Please call and/or email your state representative and give him or
her this message in your own words:

"Please oppose House Bill 189. Raising the compulsory attendance age
would only force students into the school system who don't want to be
there and will not improve the local dropout rate. This bill will cost
too much (estimated at over $15 million) with little or no results,
wasting taxpayers' money. Additionally, this bill takes away the right
of parents to decide whether their children are ready for college or
the workforce."

Do not identify yourself as a homeschooler, but instead can call as a
concerned taxpayer and parent from your representative's district.

To find the name and contact information for your state
representative, use HSLDA's Legislative Toolbox at
http://capwiz.com/hslda/dbq/officials . You can find email addresses
for nearly all of the representatives here:
http://www.lrc.ky.gov/whoswho/email.htm .

You can also call the Toll-Free Legislative Message Line at
1-800-372-7181 to leave a message for your state representative.

Representatives in the House Education Committee who voted against
H.B. 189
Rep. Hubert Collins
Rep. Linda Belcher
Rep. Ted Edmonds

Representatives who just voted "Pass"
Rep. Leslie Combs
Rep. Bill Farmer

BACKGROUND:

Raising the compulsory school attendance age from 16 to 18 would
subject Kentucky home educators to the requirements of the homeschool
law two years longer than now required. (You do not need to share this
reason with your legislators.)

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-six 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 workforce. (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 school
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 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

If passed, House Bill 189 would raise the compulsory school attendance
age from 16 to 17 on July 1, 2010 and then from 17 to 18 on July 1,
2011.

If you are not yet a member of HSLDA and would like to help us fight
for homeschool freedom and parental rights in Kentucky please visit
http://www.hslda.org/elink.asp?id=6226. Your membership helps us
protect your right to teach your children at home as well as advocate
on behalf of homeschoolers across the country and around the globe.

If you would like to be put on our email list to receive vital e-lerts
you may sign up at http://www.hslda.org/elink.asp?id=6227 .

Thank you for your calls on behalf of continued freedom in Kentucky.


Sincerely,

Thomas J. (Tj) Schmidt
Staff Attorney

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