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Date:
From:
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3/29/2011 4:26:00 PM
Home School Legal Defense Association
Rhode Island--Action Urgently Needed to Stop Compulsory School Age Increase

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From the HSLDA E-lert Service...
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Rhode Island--Action Urgently Needed
to Stop Compulsory School Age Increase

Dear HSLDA Members and Friends,

Please continue to make calls!

The Rhode Island House of Representatives has not yet voted on HB
5061, a bill that would raise the compulsory attendance age from 16 to
18. We expect the vote soon, so please call your representative if
you have not done so already.

It's critical that you contact your representative to let him or her
know that taking away parents' freedom to choose the best path for
their 16- and 17-year-old is not acceptable.

REQUESTED ACTION:

1. Please call your representative TODAY to let him or her know you
oppose HB 5061.

Use our Legislative Toolbox at http://www.hslda.org/toolbox to find
out who your representative is. Even representatives whom you think
already oppose the bill need to hear from you.

2. Your message can be as simple as:

"Please vote NO on HB 5061. Parents, not state officials, know whether
their 16-year-old young adult should pursue formal education or some
other preparation for life responsibilities. The additional cost of
forcing unwilling young adults into a formal school setting should not
be added to the current taxpayer burden."

This bill would undermine the freedom of all parents. It is not
necessary for you to identify yourself as a homeschooler.

3. Please pass this message on to all your friends. This bill will
negatively impact almost everyone in Rhode Island--children, parents,
and taxpayers.

BACKGROUND

Not all 16- and 17-year-olds belong in a formal school setting. Some
would be better off in a work training program, apprenticeship,
obtaining valuable work experience, etc. This decision belongs to
parents, not state officials.

Pushing unwilling older students into the classroom will disrupt the
other students who truly want to learn. Since many 17-year-olds have
the size and strength of adults, classrooms could become even more
violent.

Raising the compulsory age does not help young people. Some of the
states with the highest graduation rates have the lowest compulsory
attendance cut-off age. Most states have a compulsory attendance
cut-off age of 16 or less.

Taxes would inevitably rise to pay for more classroom space and
teachers. When California raised the upper age limit of compulsory
attendance, taxpayers were forced to pay for the building of new
schools just to handle the older, unwilling students and their
behavior problems.

For more information on compulsory attendance, please see our
memorandum at http://www.hslda.org/elink.asp?id=7918

Rhode Island Guild of Home Teachers and HSLDA are united in opposing
this bill.

Thank you for your calls on behalf of freedom in Rhode Island.

Sincerely,

Scott Woodruff
HSLDA Senior Counsel

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