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Date:
From:
Subject:

12/8/2011 10:58:26 AM
Home School Legal Defense Association
Alabama--Compulsory Attendance Bills for 2012

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From the HSLDA E-lert Service...
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Alabama --Compulsory Attendance Bills for 2012

Dear HSLDA Members and Friends:

I want to bring to your attention four bad bills that have been
prefiled in the Alabama Legislature for the upcoming 2012 legislative
session beginning February 7. All of these bills would lower the
compulsory school attendance age in Alabama from 7 to 6. If any one of
these bills passes, it would add another year of homeschooling for
every child, regardless of the child's level of maturity or readiness
to begin formal instruction at age 6. This is just another example of
the state applying a one-size-fits-all approach to every child and
disregarding the judgment of parents who are in the best position to
ascertain the individual needs of their child.

In the House of Representatives, the bills are House Bill 6 and House
Bill 42, both sponsored by Representative John Merrill (R) of the 62nd
District. On the Senate side, the bills are Senate Bill 28 and Senate
Bill 71, both introduced by Senator Priscilla Dunn (D) of the 19th
District. The only difference between the bills is that House Bill 42
and Senate Bill 71 would both make slight changes in the ages at which
a child may attend a public kindergarten or elementary school if the
parent so chooses.

In 2009 the Alabama Legislature increased the compulsory attendance
age from 16 to 17 for most students. Representative Merrill and
Senator Dunn need to know that Alabama parents do not want any further
expansion of state control over education. You can do that by
contacting them now before the legislative session begins and before
any of these bills gains too much momentum to be stopped.

Action Requested:

1. Please contact Representative Merrill with this message or
something similar in your own words:

"Please withdraw House Bill 6 and House Bill 42, which would lower
Alabama's compulsory school attendance age from 7 to 6. Parents, not
state officials, are best able to determine when their child is ready
for formal education."

2. Please contact Senator Dunn with this message or something similar
in your own words:

"Please withdraw Senate Bill 28 and Senate Bill 71, which would lower
Alabama's compulsory school attendance age from 7 to 6. Parents, not
state officials, are best able to determine when their child is ready
for formal education."

When contacting these legislators, it is not necessary to identify
yourself as a homeschooler. This issue is broader than homeschooling.
This is a parental rights issue affecting all Alabama families with
children.

The contact information for these legislators is as follows:

Representative John Merrill
email: john@tuscaloosagop.org

Office address:
Alabama House of Representatives
Room 205-B
11 South Union Street
Montgomery, AL 36130

Office telephone: 334-242-7554

Senator Priscilla Dunn
email: none shown on state website

Mailing address:
Alabama State Senate
Room 737
11 South Union Street
Montgomery, AL 36130

Office telephone: 334-242-7793

Please forward this email to every family you know who is not a member
of HSLDA and urge them to contact these two legislators.

Background:

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. These bills would restrict parents' freedom to
decide if their children are ready for school.

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.

To view the text of these bills, please go to

House Bill 6: http://www.hslda.org/elink.asp?id=13051

House Bill 42: http://www.hslda.org/elink.asp?id=13052

Senate Bill 28: http://www.hslda.org/elink.asp?id=13053

Senate Bill 71: http://www.hslda.org/elink.asp?id=13055

For more information on compulsory attendance, please see our
memorandum "Early Education Shows No Benefit"
at http://www.hslda.org/elink.asp?id=13054

Please call, email, or write these legislators today!


Very truly yours,

Dewitt T. Black, III
HSLDA Senior Counsel

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