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3/26/2009 1:45:41 PM
Home School Legal Defense Association
Wisconsin--Calls Needed to Oppose Early Education Bill

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From the HSLDA E-lert Service...
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March 26, 2009

Wisconsin--Calls Needed to Oppose Early Education Bill

Dear HSLDA Members and Friends,

Senate Bill 89 has been introduced in the Senate and is now in the
Education Committee, scheduled for a public hearing on April 2.

Senate Bill 89 would open the gate to lowering the compulsory school
age by granting public schools authority to allow 4- and 5-year-olds
entrance into kindergarten.

While this bill does not affect homeschoolers right now, history
demonstrates that what is initially optional in the educational arena
inexorably becomes mandatory in due course. Early childhood education
advocates have been clear in announcing their goal of mandatory
preschool for all children, including homeschoolers.

ACTION REQUESTED

1. Please call your assembly member and senator and give them this
message:

"Please vote against Senate Bill 89, which will mandate in our schools
early education programs that have not been proven to be effective.
This is a waste of taxpayers' dollars. It will also increase the
pressure to expand compulsory attendance, which will restrict parents'
choice in the education of their children."

Do not identify yourself as a homeschooler.

The legislative hotline toll-free is (800) 362-9472. Ask to speak with
your state representative.

Leave the above message with as many Senate Education Committee
members as you can.

Senate Education Committee Members:

Senator John Lehman (Chair) - (608) 266-1832
Senator Robert Jauch (Vice-Chair) - (608) 266-3510
Senator Jon Erpenbach - (608) 266-6670
Senator David Hansen - (608) 266-5670
Senator Luther Olsen - (608) 266-0751
Senator Glenn Grothman - (608) 266-7513
Senator Randy Hopper - (608) 266-5300


BACKGROUND

While the bill purports to make these programs optional, history shows
us that there will be subsequent pressure to make them mandatory,
universal, and funded with taxpayer dollars.

Lowering the compulsory attendance age from 6 to 5 would subject
Wisconsin home educators to the requirements of the homeschool statute
one year earlier than now required. (You do not need to share this
reason with your legislators.)

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.

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 raised 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.

For more information on compulsory attendance, please see our
memorandum at
http://www.hslda.org/docs/nche/Issues/E/Early_Education.asp

Sincerely,

Christopher J. Klicka, Esq.
HSLDA Senior Counsel

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