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2/1/2012 12:12:18 PM
Home School Legal Defense Association
New Jersey--Calls Needed to Stop Second Compulsory Attendance Expansion Bill

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From the HSLDA E-lert Service...
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New Jersey--Calls Needed to Stop
Second Compulsory Attendance Expansion Bill

Dear HSLDA Members and Friends:

Thank you for responding to our last request for calls to prevent an
expansion of the compulsory school attendance age!

However, new action is needed to counter the same threat in the
Senate. Senate Bill 647 would raise the ending age for compulsory
school attendance in New Jersey from the 16th to 18th birthday. A
hearing before the Senate Education Committee is scheduled for this
Monday, February 6 at 10:30 a.m..

This bill would take away your freedom to decide whether school or
some other path is best for your 16-year-old to follow. It would
result in higher taxes as unwilling older students are forced to stay
in schools.

The bill's summary statement makes the sweeping declaration that "A
child who stops attending school at age 16 is not prepared to function
in our society." This kind of thinking ignores children who learn
quickly, ignores parents who wish to educate or train their children
in a non-school environment, and ignores the fact that keeping a child
in school for two more years is no guarantee that the child will be
prepared to function in society.

Requested Action

1. If you live in the district of one of the committee members listed
below, please call them right away. Use our Legislative Toolbox
http://www.hslda.org/elink.asp?id=13596 to find out who your state
senator is. Even senators who you think already oppose the bill need
to hear from you.

2. Whether or not your senator is listed below, call the chair of the
committee, Teresa Ruiz.

Your message can be as simple as:

"Please vote no on S647, which would raise the age of compulsory
school attendance from 16 to 18. Parents, not state officials, know
whether their 16-year-old young adult should pursue formal education
or some other preparation for life responsibilities. The cost of
forcing unwilling young adults into a formal school setting should not
be added to our tax burden."

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

4. Forward this email on to all of your friends, and ask them to call
the committee members as well, if they live in their districts.

CONTACT INFORMATION

Ruiz, M. Teresa - Chair
(973) 484-1000

Turner, Shirley K. - Vice-Chair
(609) 530-3277

Allen, Diane B.
(609) 239-2800

Beach, James
(856) 429-1572

Doherty, Michael J.
(908) 835-0552

Background

Although this bill exempts children who have graduated from high
school, this exemption will not apply to homeschoolers.

Not all 16- and 17-year-olds belong in a formal school setting. Some
would be better off in a work training program or apprenticeship,
obtaining valuable work experience. 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 school 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 end compulsory attendance before age 18.


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, please see our Issues Library entry on
compulsory attendance http://www.hslda.org/elink.asp?id=13556.

Thank you for your calls on behalf of freedom in New Jersey.

Sincerely,

Scott Woodruff
HSLDA Senior Counsel

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