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3/13/2009 11:35:22 AM
Home School Legal Defense Association
Alabama -- Calls Needed to Stop Expansion of State Control over Education

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From the HSLDA E-lert Service...
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March 13, 2009

Alabama -- Calls Needed to Stop
Expansion of State Control over Education

Dear HSLDA Members and Friends:

Your calls and emails are needed to stop Senate Bill 334, which would
raise the compulsory school attendance age in Alabama from 16 to 18.
A child between the ages of 17 and 18 would be permitted to withdraw
from school if the parent or guardian consented and the school
conducted an exit interview with the parent and child. This bill has
already passed the Senate and is now being considered by the House
Education Committee.

If this bill passes, parents will be required to comply with the
compulsory school attendance law for at least an additional year.
This means that parents will be locked into another year of home
instruction 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.

This bill is moving quickly through the Legislature. 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 Senate Bill 334 which would increase Alabama's
compulsory school attendance age from 16 to 18. This bill restricts
the right of parents to choose when a child may pursue other
educational or work options. This bill will also waste taxpayer
dollars, because 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 contacting 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-H please contact:

Yvonne Kennedy, Chair
(334) 242-7737
yvonne.kennedy@alhouse.org

Terry Spicer, Vice Chair
(334) 242-7773
terry.spicer@alhouse.org

Mike Ball, Ranking Minority Member
(334) 242-7683
mikeball@knology.net

Alan Baker
(334) 242-7720
staterep@co.escambia.al.us

Barbara Boyd
(334) 242-7692
bboyd@calhouncounty.org

Last names beginning with I-P please contact:

Priscilla Dunn
(334) 242-7702
priscilla.dunn@alhouse.org

Lea Fite
(334) 242-7681
lea.fite@alhouse.org

Mac McCutcheon
(334) 242-7705
macmccutcheon@knology.net

Joseph Mitchell
(334) 242-7735
house3@alhouse.org

John Robinson
(334) 242-7728
john.robinson@alhouse.gov

Last names beginning with Q-Z please contact:

Tommy Sherer
(334) 242-7694
tommysherer@yahoo.com

Harry Shiver
(334) 242-7745
harryshiver@aol.com

Allen Treadaway
(334) 242-7685
bsketa@aol.com

Cam Ward
(334) 242-7750
camjulward@aol.com

Henry White
(334) 242-7712
henrywhite2431e@charter.net

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:
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=6256

For more information on compulsory attendance, please see our
memorandum at http://www.hslda.org/elink.asp?id=6257


Please call or email today!


Sincerely,

Dewitt T. Black, III
HSLDA Senior Counsel

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