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6/22/2010 3:26:09 PM
Home School Legal Defense Association
Massachusetts--Act Now to Defeat Expansion of State Control Over Homeschools

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From the HSLDA E-lert Service...
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June 22, 2010

Massachusetts--Your Action Needed to Defeat
Expansion of State Control Over Homeschoolers!

Dear HSLDA Members and Friends:

You may recall that last year numerous bills were introduced that
would have increased the compulsory attendance age in Massachusetts.
These bills were all referred to the Joint Committee on Education.
The committee has combined the concepts from these proposals into a
single proposal in the form of House Bill 4753. HB 4753 would, among
other things, increase the age of compulsory school attendance in
Massachusetts from 16 to 18, thereby inflicting two more years of
government regulation on homeschool families. In addition to raising
the compulsory attendance age, HB 4753 removes a provision in the law
that allows 14-16-year-olds who are working to be exempt from school
attendance.

The committee has reported favorably on the bill and has referred it
to the House Committee on Ways and Means. We do not know when a
hearing will be held for the legislation, but knowing how things can
go in the Massachusetts legislature we believe it is important to
register early and continuous opposition to this legislation.

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://www.hslda.org/elink.asp?id=8554


ACTION REQUESTED

Please call members of the House Committee on Ways and Means and ask
them to 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 oppose HB 4753 and keep the compulsory school attendance age
at 16. Increasing the compulsory attendance age to 18 will neither
increase graduation rates nor decrease dropout rates. It will,
however, raise taxes and unnecessarily subject families to government
control for an additional two years. 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. I am
aware that HB 4753 provides for other changes that may be helpful.
However, as a Massachusetts tax payer I oppose increasing the age of
compulsory school attendance. Please amend HB 4753 or oppose it."

Members of the House Committee on Ways and Means are listed below.
Please be sure to call your Representative if listed. Otherwise, if
your name begins with A-I call the first 10, if your name beings with
J-Q call 11-20, and if your name begins with R-Z call 21-31.

Representative Charles Murphy - Chair
617-722-2990
Rep.CharlesMurphy@hwm.state.ma.us

Representative Barbara L'Italien - Vice Chair
617-722-2380
Rep.BarbaraL'Italien@hou.state.ma.us

Representative Stephen Kulik - Assistant Vice Chair
617-722-2580
Rep.StephenKulik@hou.state.ma.us

Representative Angelo Scaccia
617-722-2060
Rep.AngeloScaccia@hou.state.ma.us

Representative Gloria Fox
617-722-2810
Rep.GloriaFox@hou.state.ma.us

Representative Robert Koczera
617-722-2582
Rep.RobertKoczera@hou.state.ma.us

Representative Christine Canavan
617-722-2575
Rep.ChristineCanavan@hou.state.ma.us

Representative James Fagan
617-722-2430
Rep.JamesFagan@hou.state.ma.us

Representative John Quinn
617-722-2020
Rep.JohnQuinn@hou.state.ma.us

Representative Colleen Garry
617-722-2380
Rep.ColleenGarry@hou.state.ma.us

Representative Geraldine Creedon
617-722-2305
Rep.GeraldineCreedon@hou.state.ma.us

Representative Michael Rodrigues
617-722-2230
Rep.MichaelRodrigues@hou.state.ma.us

Representative Ruth Balser
617-722-2460
Rep.RuthBalser@hou.state.ma.us

Representative Walter Timilty
617-722-2810
Rep.WalterTimilty@hou.state.ma.us

Representative Michael Kane
617-722-2263
Rep.MichaelKane@hou.state.ma.us

Representative Christopher Donelan
617-722-2230
Rep.ChristopherDonelan@hou.state.ma.us

Representative Michael Rush
617-722-2637
Rep.MikeRush@hou.state.ma.us

Representative Joseph Driscoll
617-722-2396
Rep.JosephDriscoll@hou.state.ma.us

Representative Denis Guyer
617-722-2210
Rep.DenisGuyer@Hou.State.MA.US

Representative Carl Sciortino, Jr.
617-722-2400
Rep.CarlSciortino@Hou.State.MA.US

Representative Tom Sannicandro
617-722-2011
Rep.TomSannicandro@Hou.State.MA.US

Representative James Welch
617-722-2396
Rep.JamesWelch@Hou.State.MA.US

Representative Christopher Speranzo
617-722-2396
Rep.ChristopherSperanzo@Hou.State.MA.US

Representative Robert Rice, Jr.
617-722-2014
Rep.RobertRice@Hou.State.MA.US

Representative Thomas Conroy
617-722-2460
Rep.ThomasConroy@hou.state.ma.us

Representative Viriato deMacedo
617-722-2100
Rep.VinnyDemacedo@hou.state.ma.us

Representative Robert Hargraves
617-722-2305
Rep.RobertHargraves@hou.state.ma.us

Representative Jeffrey Perry
617-722-2396
Rep.JeffreyPerry@hou.state.ma.us

Representative Karyn Polito
617-722-2230
Rep.KarynPolito@hou.state.ma.us

Representative Todd Smola
617-722-2240
Rep.ToddSmola@Hou.State.MA.US

Representative Daniel Webster
617-722-2487
Rep.DanielWebster@hou.state.ma.us


BACKROUND

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 more information, visit our website at:
http://www.hslda.org/elink.asp?id=8555


Thank you for standing in defense of freedom!

Standing with you,

Michael P. Donnelly, Esq.
Staff Attorney

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-> You can only do so much...

No one can be everywhere at once. And you can't be at home,
teaching your children, while monitoring your state's legislature.
Through electronic legislative services, HSLDA is monitoring state
legislation for you -- watching and listening carefully for any
proposed laws that could erode your right to homeschool.
Join HSLDA today-we'll watch out for your future.

More reasons to join HSLDA...
http://www.hslda.org/elink.asp?id=1942

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