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Date:
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5/3/2011 5:34:53 PM
Home School Legal Defense Association
Maine: Call by Thursday to Stop Compulsory School Age Expansion to 20

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From the HSLDA E-lert Service...
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Maine: Call by Thursday to Stop Compulsory School Age Expansion to 20

Dear Maine HSLDA Members and Friends:

Your calls are needed by Thursday to stop a bill that would lower the
starting age for compulsory school attendance in Maine from 7 to 6 and
raise the ending age from 17 to 20.

LD 1503 would take away your freedom to decide whether school or some
other path is best for your 17- through 19-year-old to follow. It
would take away your freedom to decide if your 6-year-old is ready for
mandatory education. And it would result in higher taxes as unprepared
6-year-olds and unwilling older students are forced to stay in
schools.

REQUESTED ACTION:

1. If your senator or representative is on the Education and Cultural
Affairs Committee (see list
below), please call him or her to let them know you oppose LD 1503.
Use our Legislative Toolbox at http://www.hslda.org/elink.asp?id=11089
to find out who your senator and representative is.

2. If neither your senator nor representative is on the committee,
please call the chairpersons.

3. Your message can be as simple as:

"Please vote NO on LD 1503. Parents, not state officials, know whether
their young adult should pursue formal education or some other
preparation for life responsibilities. The extra cost of forcing
unwilling young adults into a formal school setting should not be
added to our tax burden. Parents know best whether a 6-year-old is
ready for school."

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

4. Please consider attending the hearing to show your opposition. It
is scheduled for 11:00 on Friday May 6 in Room 202 of the Cross
Building in Augusta. Many homeschoolers are already on planning on
being in the Capitol for Homeschoolers of Maine "Homeschool Day at the
Capitol"!

5. For more information about "Homeschool Day at the Capitol," go to
http://www.hslda.org/elink.asp?id=11090

CONTACT INFORMATION

Senator Brian D. Langley (R-Hancock), Chair Home Telephone: (207)
667-0625 langley4legislature@myfairpoint.net

Senator Garrett Paul Mason (R-Androscoggin) Home Telephone: (207)
577-1521 garrettpaulmason@gmail.com

Senator Justin L. Alfond (D-Cumberland) NA Home Telephone: (207)
828-0277 Justin@JustinAlfond.com

Representative David E. Richardson (R-Carmel), Chair Home Telephone:
(207) 848-3040 RepDavid.Richardson@legislature.maine.gov

Representative Peter E. Edgecomb (R-Caribou) Home Telephone: (207)
496-3188 RepPeter.Edgecomb@legislature.maine.gov

Representative Howard E. McFadden (R-Dennysville) Home Telephone:
(207) 726-4676 mcfaddenh@roadrunner.com

Representative Peter B. Johnson (R-Greenville) Home Telephone: (207)
695-2019 Cell Phone: (207) 280-0888
RepPete.Johnson@legislature.maine.gov

Representative Joyce A. Maker (R-Calais) Home Telephone: (207)
454-2327 RepJoyce.Maker@legislature.maine.gov

Representative Michael D. McClellan (R-Raymond) Home Telephone: (207)
655-4438 RepMichael.McClellan@legislature.maine.gov

Representative Richard V. Wagner (D-Lewiston) Home Telephone: (207)
784-0645 RepRichard.Wagner@legislature.maine.gov

Representative Mary Pennell Nelson (D-Falmouth) Home Telephone: (207)
781-3750 RepMary.Nelson@legislature.maine.gov

Representative Stephen D. Lovejoy (D-Portland) Home Telephone: (207)
773-5538 steve.lovejoy@myfairpoint.net

Representative Helen Rankin (D-Hiram) Home Telephone: (207) 625-4620
Cell Phone: (207) 252-9919
RepHelen.Rankin@legislature.maine.gov

Representative Madonna M. Soctomah (Passamaquoddy Tribe) Home
Telephone: (207) 853-2985 Cell Phone: (207) 904-7580
RepMadonna.Soctomah@legislature.maine.gov

BACKGROUND

The problematic parts of the bill are sections 11, 12 (which takes
away the graduation exception) and 14. The bill contains many other
sections as well.

Not all 17- through 19-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 older students 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, and why many
6-year-olds are better off waiting a year before school, please see
our memorandum at http://www.hslda.org/elink.asp?id=7918

Thank you for your calls on behalf of freedom in Maine!

Sincerely,

Scott Woodruff
HSLDA Senior Counsel

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