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2/10/2012 3:50:44 PM
Home School Legal Defense Association
Maryland: Call Now to Prevent Expansion of Compulsory Education Age

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From the HSLDA E-lert Service...
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Maryland: Call Now to Prevent Expansion of Compulsory Education Age

Dear HSLDA Members and Friends:

Your calls are needed immediately to stop House Bill 373, which would
raise Maryland's ending age for compulsory school attendance from the
16th birthday. It would raise it to the 17th birthday in 2014, and to
the 18th birthday in 2016. Please call before the House Ways and Means
Committee holds its hearing on the bill on February 16 at 1:00 p.m.

This bill would take away your freedom to decide whether school or
some other path is best for your 16- and 17-year-old. It would result
in higher taxes as schools incur the costs of managing unwilling older
students who are forced to stay in schools.

REQUESTED ACTION

1. If you live in the district of one of the committee members listed
below, please call them right away. Visit our Legislative Toolbox
http://www.hslda.org/elink.asp?id=13726 and type in your ZIP code to
find out who your delegate is. Even assembly members who you think
already oppose the bill need to hear from you.

Your message can be as simple as:

"Please vote no on HB 373. It would raise the age of compulsory
school attendance from 16 to 17 and then 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."

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

CONTACT INFORMATION FOR COMMITTEE MEMBERS

Sheila E. Hixson, Chair
(410) 841-3469, (301) 858-3469
1-800-492-7122, ext. 3469 (toll free)

Samuel I. Rosenberg, Vice-Chair
(410) 841-3297, (301) 858-3297
1-800-492-7122, ext. 3297 (toll free)

Kathryn L. Afzali
(410) 841-3288, (301) 858-3288
1-800-492-7122, ext. 3288 (toll free)

Kumar P. Barve
(410) 841-3464, (301) 858-3464
1-800-492-7122, ext. 3464 (toll free)

Joseph C. Boteler III
(410) 841-3365, (301) 858-3365
1-800-492-7122, ext. 3365 (toll free)

Talmadge Branch
(410) 841-3398, (301) 858-3398
1-800-492-7122, ext. 3398 (toll free)

Jon S. Cardin
(410) 841-3833, (301) 858-3833
1-800-492-7122, ext. 3833 (toll free)

Mark N. Fisher
(410) 841-3231, (301) 858-3231
1-800-492-7122, ext. 3231 (toll free)

C. William Frick
(410) 841-3454, (301) 858-3454
1-800-492-7122, ext. 3454 (toll free)

Ronald A. George
(410) 841-3439, (301) 858-3439
1-800-492-7122, ext. 3439 (toll free)

Glen Glass
(410) 841-3280, (301) 858-3280
1-800-492-7122, ext. 3280 (toll free)

Carolyn J. B. Howard
410) 841-3919, (301) 858-3919
1-800-492-7122, ext. 3919 (toll free)

Jolene Ivey
(410) 841-3478, (301) 858-3478
1-800-492-7122, ext. 3478 (toll free)

Anne R. Kaiser
(410) 841-3036, (301) 858-3036
1-800-492-7122, ext. 3036 (toll free)

Eric G. Luedtke
(410) 841-3110, (301) 858-3110
1-800-492-7122, ext. 3110 (toll free)

Aruna Miller
(410) 841-3090, (301) 858-3090
1-800-492-7122, ext. 3090 (toll free)

LeRoy E. Myers, Jr.
(410) 841-3321, (301) 858-3321
1-800-492-7122, ext. 3321 (toll free)

Justin D. Ross
(410) 841-3652, (301) 858-3652
1-800-492-7122, ext. 3652 (toll free)

Andrew A. Serafini
(410) 841-3447, (301) 858-3447

Melvin L. Stukes
(410) 841-3544, (301) 858-3544
1-800-492-7122, ext. 3544 (toll free)

Michael G. Summers
(410) 841-3340, (301) 858-3340
1-800-492-7122, ext. 3340 (toll free)

Frank S. Turner
(410) 841-3246, (301) 858-3246
1-800-492-7122, ext. 3246 (toll free)

Jay Walker
(410) 841-3581, (301) 858-3581
1-800-492-7122, ext. 3581 (toll free)

BACKGROUND

This bill seems to have a homeschool exemption. However, this
"exemption" only applies if a family continues to comply with the
compulsory attendance laws. Therefore it is no exemption at all.

You may talk to a legislator who thinks the bill only raises the
compulsory age to 17. This is not correct. According to sections 3
and 4 of the bill, the age 17 limit will apply in 2014 and age 18 will
apply in 2016.

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.

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.

One of the important legal bulwarks for homeschooling in Maryland has
been the simplicity of the Maryland homeschool statute. It allows any
family to provide "regular, thorough instruction, in the studies
usually taught in public schools to same-age children" instead of
public school attendance. While regulations have been adopted to help
implement this statute, they are not actually part of the statute, and
this helps protect freedom. But HB 373 actually inserts the
homeschool regulations into the statute. This is a threat to
homeschool freedom, and another reason to oppose the bill.

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 Maryland.

Sincerely,

Scott Woodruff
HSLDA Senior Counsel

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