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2/22/2010 4:37:27 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 22, 2010

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

Dear HSLDA Members and Friends:

The House Education Committee met last Friday to discuss the age of
compulsory attendance and created a new bill, HB 4593, which would,
among other things, increase the age of compulsory school attendance
from 16 to 17.

This bill would create many programs intended to help students, who
might otherwise drop out of school, complete their education. However,
HSLDA opposes this bill because it increases the compulsory school
attendance age.

We are asking you to contact your delegate and ask them to oppose
increasing the compulsory attendance age. While the other programs
help students, raising the compulsory attendance age will not. The
full House will vote on HB 4593 this Wednesday, February 24. If it
passes, it will move on to the Senate. For more information visit
http://www.hslda.org/elink.asp?id=7713 .

Or, view the CHEWV email alert at:
http://www.hslda.org/elink.asp?id=7714 .

ACTION REQUESTED

Please call your delegate by Tuesday, February 23, and ask him or her
to remove the language that would increase the age of compulsory
school attendance. Because this legislation would affect all students,
you should not identify yourself as a homeschooler. Use the following
message in your own words:

"Please remove language in HB 4593 that increases the compulsory
attendance age to 17. I am aware that HB 4593 provides for many
programs that may be helpful in increasing graduation rates. However,
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 parents' 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 taxpayer I oppose
increasing the age of compulsory school attendance. Please amend HB
4593 or oppose it."

To find your delegate visit: http://www.hslda.org/elink.asp?id=7715 .

For a list of all West Virginia delegates visit:
http://www.hslda.org/elink.asp?id=7716 .

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" at
http://www.hslda.org/elink.asp?id=7717 .

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/elink.asp?id=7718 .

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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