From the HSLDA E-lert Service:


1/7/2011 10:42:53 AM
Home School Legal Defense Association
Montana--Calls Needed to Oppose Compulsory Attendance Age Bill

From the HSLDA E-lert Service...

Montana--Calls Needed to Oppose Compulsory Attendance Age Bill

Dear HSLDA Members and Friends:

Your calls and emails are needed to stop Senate Bill 44 which would
increase the compulsory school attendance age in Montana from 16 to
18, graduation from high school, or receipt of a GED as the time when
a student may leave school. A hearing on this bill is scheduled in the
Senate Education Committee at 3:00 p.m. on Wednesday, January 12,
2011, in Room 303 of the Capitol Building, so there is not much time
left to let members of the Committee know that you oppose this bill.

If this bill passes, parents will be required to comply with the
homeschool law for an additional two years unless the child first
graduates from high school or obtains a GED. This means that parents
will be locked into another two years of homeschooling at a time when
the child may wish to pursue other educational options or begin a
vocation. As freedom-loving homeschoolers, we oppose any effort to
expand the state's control over education in any form.

Members of the Senate Education Committee need to hear from you today!

Action Requested:

1. Please call and/or email as many members of the Senate Education
Committee as possible with this message:

"Please vote against Senate Bill 44 which would increase Montana's
compulsory school attendance age. This bill restricts the right of
parents to choose when a child may pursue other educational or work
options. Requiring the attendance of students who are unwilling to
remain in school beyond age 16 will have a disruptive effect on other
students' learning."

When calling members of the Committee, do not identify yourself as a
homeschooler. This is broader than just a homeschooling issue.

The members of the Senate Education Committee are as follows:

Last names beginning with A-M please contact:

Sen. Ryan Zinke (Chair) (R) (SD 2-Whitefish)

Sen. Rick Ripley (Vice Chair) (R) (SD 9-Wolf Creek) email not

Sen. Gary Branae (D) (SD 27-Billings)

Sen. Taylor Brown (R) (SD 22-Huntley)

Sen. Jeff Essmann (R) (SD 28-Billings)

Last names beginning with N-Z please contact:

Sen. Tom Facey (D) (SD 48-Missoula)

Sen. Bob Hawks (D) (SD 33-Bozeman)

Sen. Bob Lake (R) (SD 44-Hamilton)

Sen. Eric Moore (R) (SD 20-Miles City)

Sen. Sharon Stewart-Peregoy (D) (SD 21-Crow Agency)

You can leave a message for the Senate Education Committee by calling
the Session Information Desk at (406) 444-4800.

2. Please forward this email to every family you know who is not a
member of HSLDA, and urge them to contact members of the Committee.


A 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 school.

Raising the compulsory attendance age will not reduce the dropout
rate. In fact, the two states with the highest high school completion
rates, Maryland at 94.5% and North Dakota at 94.7%, compel attendance
only to age 16. The state with the lowest completion rate (Oregon:
75.4%) compels attendance to age 18. (Figures are three year averages,
1996 through 1998.)

Twenty-nine 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.

It would restrict parents' freedom to decide if their 16-year-old is
ready for college or the work force. Some 16-year-olds who are not
academically inclined will benefit more from valuable work experience
than from being forced to sit in a classroom.

To view the text of this bill, please go to

For more information on compulsory attendance, please see our
memorandum at

Please call or email today!


Dewitt T. Black, III
HSLDA Senior Counsel

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