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2/9/2010 6:11:22 PM
Home School Legal Defense Association
West Virginia: Calls Needed to Prevent Compulsory Attendance Age Increase!

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From the HSLDA E-lert Service...
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February 9, 2010

West Virginia--Calls Needed to Prevent Compulsory Attendance Age
Increase!

Dear HSLDA Members and Friends:

The Senate Education Committee met today, February 9, and voted by 8-4
to pass Senate Bill 343, a bill which would increase the compulsory
school attendance age in West Virginia from 16 to 17 and extend your
obligation to report to the government for one more year. The bill is
scheduled for its first reading in the full Senate tomorrow with a
final vote as soon as this Friday.

Please take action, as requested below, to prevent this unnecessary
and burdensome piece of legislation that would restrict parents'
authority to make decisions about when their children should leave
school. Reports were that there were many Senators who agreed with
concerns raised about this bill. Please contact your own Senator now
as a constituent and ask them to oppose this bill.

ACTION REQUESTED

Please call your Senator and members of the Senate by Friday, February
12, and ask them to vote against SB 343 and oppose increasing the
compulsory school attendance age. Because this legislation would
affect all students, you should not identify yourself as a
homeschooler. Use the following message in your own words:

"Please vote against Senate Bill 343. Increasing the compulsory
attendance age will neither increase graduation rates nor decrease
dropout rates. It will, however, raise taxes and unnecessarily subject
families to government control for an additional year. Parents should
be the ones making decisions about when children should leave school -
not the government. Many children are ready to leave school at 16 and
are able to do just fine by getting a GED or starting college early.
This bill would interfere with parent's ability to make the decision
that is best for each child based on their individual circumstances.
Furthermore, I'm concerned that this bill will increase taxes and turn
classrooms into jail cells further eroding the quality of education
provided in West Virginia's public schools. As a West Virginia tax
payer I oppose this bill. Please vote no on SB 343."

To find your Senator visit: http://hslda.org/elink.asp?ID=2

For a list of all West Virginia Senators visit:
http://www.legis.state.wv.us/Senate1/members/senmemview.cfm

BACKGROUND

Those in favor of raising the compulsory school attendance age feel
that it will help graduation rates and reduce the number of dropouts.
However, statistics and studies show that raising the compulsory
school attendance age does not accomplish this result. In fact,
several states with the lowest compulsory school attendance ages have
the highest graduation rates. This bill unnecessarily imposes
government regulation on the authority of parents to make decisions
about what is in the best interest of their children. To learn more
you can read the following article "Raise the Bar, Not the Age":
http://hslda.org/elink.asp?ID=7639

Additional reasons to oppose increasing the compulsory school
attendance age:

- Children who are compelled to stay in school against their will
cause classroom disruptions and even violence, making learning harder
for their classmates who truly want to learn.

- This bill restricts parents' ability to decide if their 16 year old
is ready for college or the workforce. Many 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 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 additional information, visit our website at:
http://www.hslda.org/docs/nche/Issues/E/Early_Education.asp

Or the CHEWV elert at: http://hslda.org/elink.asp?ID=7660

HSLDA continues to work closely with CHEWV to oppose this legislation.

We are standing with you to defend your freedom!

Sincerely,

Michael P. Donnelly, Esq.
Staff Attorney

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