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5/28/2010 4:13:03 PM
Home School Legal Defense Association
Rhode Island--Calls Needed to Block Compulsory Attendance Age Increase!

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From the HSLDA E-lert Service...
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Rhode Island--Calls Needed to Block
Compulsory Attendance Age Increase!

Dear HSLDA Members and Friends:

Regrettably, House Bill 8067 cleared its House committee vote and will
be sent to the full House for a vote very soon. Your calls are needed
now more than ever!

This bill would put a new burden on taxpayers--the high cost of
educating unwilling older teens. If this bill passes, be ready for
your taxes to go up to pay for it.

H 8067 would raise the compulsory school attendance age to 18. Right
now, compulsory attendance ends at 16. You therefore have an
unhindered right to choose a plan for your 16- and 17-year old. It
could be a type of formal education, vocational instruction, or
something else altogether.

H 8067 takes away this right, and then gives it back to you as a
privilege. It allows you to ask school officials to approve an
"alternative learning plan" for your 16- or 17-year-old. But the bill
puts the school officials in the driver's seat. It's their
decision--not yours.

The House committee deleted provisions that could have allowed
compulsory attendance to end when a child, including a homeschooler,
finished high school. The bill is now worse for homeschoolers than
before the recent committee action.

ACTION REQUESTED

Please call your representative and ask him or her to vote "no" on H
8067.

Use our Legislative Toolbox at http://www.hslda.org/toolbox to find
your representative and his contact information.

You can use the background information below to develop your own
thoughts, or your message can be as simple as:

"Please oppose HB 8067. This expensive proposal will force unwilling,
unmotivated older teens to remain in classrooms where they will cause
disruption. Protect the right of parents to decide what educational or
vocational paths their 16- and 17-year-olds should follow."

Since this bill affects all Rhode Island families, you don't need to
identify yourself as a homeschooler.

BACKGROUND

This bill exempts students accepted into an accredited college--but
this provides no help to parents who believe their 16-year-old should
follow a vocationally oriented or non-academic path.

Those in favor of raising the compulsory school attendance age believe
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. 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=7609 ).

More than 20 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.

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://hslda.org/elink.asp?ID=8268 .

Thank you for standing with us for freedom!

Standing with you,

Scott A. Woodruff
HSLDA Senior Counsel

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-> Will your friends stand by you in trouble?

They will if you're an HSLDA member and your homeschool is
threatened. HSLDA is ready to stand by your side along with
80,000 other homeschool families.

More reasons to join HSLDA...
http://www.hslda.org/elink.asp?id=1105

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Phone: (540) 338-5600
Fax: (540) 338-2733
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