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6/9/2010 3:09:57 PM
Home School Legal Defense Association
Rhode Island--Kill The CompulsoryAttendance Age Increase Tonight!

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From the HSLDA E-lert Service...
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Rhode Island--Kill The CompulsoryAttendance Age Increase Tonight!

Dear HSLDA Members and Friends:

House Bill 8067, a bill to increase the compulsory attendance age, was
placed on the House calendar today. It will probably be voted upon in
the House tonight. Not only that, but since the session is almost
over, the legislature is operating on a "continuous calendar"; if it
passes the House, it could be taken to the Senate tonight and voted on
there as well; since this is the last day of the session, both bodies
may meet until 3:00 a.m. Your immediate calls are absolutely
imperative; tonight will determine whether this bill lives or dies.

HB 8067 would subject families to another two years of government
regulation of their education. It would raise the upper limit of
compulsory attendance age in Rhode Island from 16 to 18.

Parents--not the government--know whether it's best for their 16- and
17-year-olds to stay in a formal education setting or follow some
other path. This bill would increase government control over children
and restrict parents' rights to direct the upbringing and education of
their children.

ACTION REQUESTED

Please call and leave a message for your representative and senator.
Leave a message for your representative at the speaker's office by
(401) 222-2466.

Leave a message for your senator by calling the office of the
President of the Senate at (401) 222-6655.

Since this message will probably be relayed by a third party, simply
give your name, number, and ask your representative to oppose HB 8067.
Ask your senator to oppose it should it pass the house tonight.

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 path. An additional exception is so
complex and full of red tape that it is of little to no value in
protecting freedom--and it is subject to the whim of the school
superintendent.

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 ).

Additional reasons to oppose increasing the compulsory school
attendance age:

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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http://www.hslda.org/elink.asp?id=1104

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