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2/4/2011 5:22:16 PM
Home School Legal Defense Association
Maryland--Calls Needed to Oppose Discriminatory Compulsory Attendance Bill

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From the HSLDA E-lert Service...
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Maryland--Calls Needed to Oppose
Discriminatory Compulsory Attendance Bill

Dear HSLDA Members and Friends:

Your calls are needed immediately to stop a bill that would subject
families to another year of government regulation of their education
and discriminate against homeschool graduates.

Senate Bill 41 would extend the age at which compulsory school
attendance stops from 16 to 17. Parents alone know whether it's best
for their 16-year-olds to stay in a formal education setting or follow
some other path. The government cannot know the needs of individual
students. One size does not fit all when it comes to school
attendance.

There is an exemption for students who graduate from a Maryland high
school, an out-of-state high school, or get a GED--but no exemption
for students who complete their secondary education in a homeschool
setting. Studies show that homeschool students perform better on
tests. Why should the students who perform best not be exempted?

Worse, there is a distinct possibility that a law treating homeschool
graduates as if they weren't "really" graduates could spur a new wave
of discrimination against our young people who are applying for
college or jobs.

You may be told homeschoolers are exempt from the increased compulsory
age. Not so. The bill says, in effect, that homeschool students are
exempted from the higher compulsory age if they keep on complying with
the homeschool law. This is basically meaningless. If one can only be
exempted from a law by complying with it, it is no exemption.

Please call before Wednesday, February 9, when a hearing is scheduled
in the Senate Education Health and Environmental Affairs Committee.

ACTION REQUESTED:

Please call members of the committees to express your opposition.

1. Call your own senator, if he or she is on one of the committees
(see list below). Use our Legislative Toolbox to see who your senator
is at http://www.hslda.org/toolbox

2. Whether or not your senator is on the committee, call the other
committee members.

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

"Please oppose Senate Bill 41. This multimillion dollar 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-year-olds should
follow."

It is not necessary to identify yourself as a homeschooling family,
since this bill undermines the rights of all parents.

3. 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 and
attend the hearing.

CONTACT INFORMATION

Joan Carter Conway, Chair
(410) 841-3145, (301) 858-3145
1-800-492-7122, ext. 3145 (toll free)

Roy P. Dyson, Vice-Chair
(410) 841-3673, (301) 858-3673
1-800-492-7122, ext. 3673 (toll free)

Joanne C. Benson
(410) 841-3148, (301) 858-3148
1-800-492-7122, ext. 3148 (toll free)

Bill Ferguson
(410) 841-3600, (301) 858-3600
1-800-492-7122, ext. 3600 (toll free)

J. B. Jennings
(410) 841-3706, (301) 858-3706
1-800-492-7122, ext. 3706 (toll free)

Karen S. Montgomery
(410) 841-3625, (301) 858-3625
1-800-492-7122, ext. 3625 (toll free)

Paul G. Pinsky
(410) 841-3155, (301) 858-3155
1-800-492-7122, ext. 3155 (toll free)

Edward R. Reilly
(410) 841-3568, (301) 858-3568
1-800-492-7122, ext. 3568 (toll free)

James C. Rosapepe
(410) 841-3141, (301) 858-3141
1-800-492-7122, ext. 3141 (toll free)

Bryan W. Simonaire
(410) 841-3658, (301) 858-3658
1-800-492-7122, ext. 3658 (toll free)

Ronald N. Young
(410) 841-3575, (301) 858-3575
1-800-492-7122, ext. 3575 (toll free)


BACKGROUND

> The graduation "exception" applies to students who have obtained a
"Maryland High School Diploma." This means a public school or
state-issued diploma.

> Raising the compulsory school attendance age will not reduce the
dropout rate. Some states with the lowest completion rates compel
attendance to age 18.

> 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.

> Mandating attendance until age 17 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 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 school.

For more information on compulsory school attendance, please see our
memorandum at http://www.hslda.org/elink.asp?id=3623

Thank you for standing with us for freedom.

Sincerely Yours,

Scott Woodruff
HSLDA Senior Counsel

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More reasons to join HSLDA...
http://www.hslda.org/elink.asp?id=1933

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