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2/14/2011 11:47:06 AM
Home School Legal Defense Association
Hawaii: Urgent--Calls Needed to Stop Two Mandatory Kindergarten Bills!

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From the HSLDA E-lert Service...
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Hawaii: Urgent--Calls Needed to Stop Two Mandatory Kindergarten Bills!

Dear Hawaii Members and Friends;

The Senate Education Committee is scheduled to hear two mandatory
kindergarten bills that need to be stopped. Senate Bill 86 and Senate
Bill 1384 are scheduled to be heard in committee today at 1:15 p.m. in
Conference Room 225. We need your calls and emails to the members of
the Senate Education Committee to let them know that you are opposed
to mandatory kindergarten!

Both bills would lower the compulsory attendance age in Hawaii from 6
to 5 if passed.

Senate Bill 86 would require a child who turns 5 years old by August 1
to attend kindergarten beginning in the 2013-2014 school year.

Senate Bill 1384 would require any child who turns 5 by December 31 to
attend kindergarten beginning in the 2012-2013 school year. Senate
Bill 1384 would also require any child who was enrolled in an
alternative educational program or in a homeschool program to
successfully pass a standardized admission test before they would be
allowed to enter grade one in a public school.

Please call now and let the Senate Education Committee that you are
opposed to these bills!

ACTION

1) Please call and email the Senate Education Committee Members listed
below and give them this message in your own words:

"Please oppose Senate Bill 86 and Senate Bill 1384. Lowering the
compulsory attendance age will prevent parents from determining when
their child is ready for school. Research has also shown that by the
3rd grade there is no academic advantage for mandatory kindergarten
programs. Please vote against both bills."

You do not need to identify yourself as a homeschooler. Instead you
can indicate that you are a concerned parent and taxpayer.

Senate Education Committee Members

Sen. Jill N. Tokuda, Chairman
Senatorial District 24
Phone: 808-587-7215
Email: sentokuda@Capitol.hawaii.gov

Sen. Michelle Kidani, Vice Chairman
Senatorial District 17
Phone: 808-586-7100
Email: senkidani@capitol.hawaii.gov

Sen. Suzanne Chun Oakland
Senatorial District 13
Phone: 808-586-6130
Email: senchunoakland@Capitol.hawaii.gov

Sen. Clarence K. Nishihara
Senatorial District 18
Phone: 808-586-6970
Email: sennishihara@Capitol.hawaii.gov

Sen. Brian T. Taniguchi
Senatorial District 10
Phone: 808-586-6460
Email: sentaniguchi@Capitol.hawaii.gov

Sen. Sam Slom
Senatorial District 8
Phone: 808-586-8420
Email: senslom@Capitol.hawaii.gov

BACKGROUND

Lowering the compulsory attendance age from 6 to 5 would subject
Hawaii home educators to the requirements of the homeschool statute
one year earlier than now required. (You do not need to share this
reason with your legislators.)

If Hawaii were to lower the compulsory attendance age, it would join
only eight other states that have their compulsory attendance age that
low. Twenty-four states, including Hawaii, have their compulsory
attendance age at 6. Sixteen states have it at 7 and two states wait
until 8.

According to the 2005 NAEP test scores of children from states that
have low compulsory attendance ages (5-6) did not score any higher
than children from the other states, and in some subjects their
average was actually lower.

Many education experts have concluded that beginning a child's formal
education too early may actually result in burnout and poor scholastic
performance later.

Lowering the compulsory attendance age erodes the authority of parents
who are in the best position to determine when their child's formal
education should begin.

A report published February 6, 2007 by the Goldwater Institute
examines Stanford 9 test scores and finds Arizona kindergarten
programs initially improve learning but have no measurable impact on
reading, math, or language arts test scores by fifth grade.

The data show that students in schools with all-day kindergarten
programs have statistically significant higher 3rd-grade test scores,
but there is no impact on 5th-grade scores. This finding is consistent
with previous research. Forcing children into school early delivers
short-term benefits at best.

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.

For more information on compulsory attendance, please see our
memorandum at http://www.hslda.org/elink.asp?id=10302

Thank you for your action to help stop these bills!

Sincerely,


Thomas J. (Tj) Schmidt
HSLDA Staff Attorney

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