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Date:
From:
Subject:

3/19/2012 4:18:18 PM
Mike Donnelly--HSLDA
Action Needed to Defeat Expansion of State Control Over Homeschoolers!

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From the HSLDA E-lert Service...
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Action Needed to Defeat Expansion
of State Control Over Homeschoolers!

Dear HSLDA Members and Friends,

Massachusetts Senate Bill 2173 will increase the maximum age of
compulsory school attendance from 16 to 18, thereby inflicting two
more years of government regulation on homeschooling families. The
bill was reported favorably to the Senate Committee on Ways and Means
from the Joint Committee on Education.

Statistics and studies show that raising the compulsory school
attendance age does not help graduation rates or reduce the number of
dropouts. SB 2173 unnecessarily imposes government regulation on the
authority of parents to make decisions about what is in the best
interest of their children.

ACTION REQUESTED

Please contact members of the Senate Committee on Ways and Means and
ask them to oppose this bill. Please consider using the following
message in your own words:

"Please oppose SB 2173. Increasing the compulsory school attendance
age to 18 will neither increase graduation rates nor decrease dropout
rates. It will, however, raise taxes and unnecessarily subject
families to government control for an additional two years. Parents
should be the ones making decisions about when children should leave
school - not the government. Many children are ready to leave school
at 16 and are able to do just fine by getting a GED, starting in an
apprenticeship program, or enrolling in college early. This bill
would interfere with parents' ability to make the decision that is
best for each child based on individual circumstances. This bill will
make current schools too small and more dangerous as children who
don't want to be in school are forced to stay. As a Massachusetts
taxpayer, I oppose increasing the age of compulsory school
attendance."

Because this legislation would affect all students, it is not
necessary to identify yourself as a homeschooler. Please email the
entire committee using the string address below and call your senator,
if a committee member, and the following: If your last name begins
with A-M, please call senators 1-8. If your last name begins with N-Z,
please call senators 9-16.

Steven.Baddour@masenate.gov; Jennifer.Flanagan@masenate.gov;
Benjamin.Downing@masenate.gov; Patricia.Jehlen@masenate.gov;
Thomas.P.Kennedy@masenate.gove; Michael.Moore@masenate.gov;
Marc.Pacheco@masenate.gov; James.Timilty@masenate.gov;
Michael.Knapik@masenate.gov; Cynthia.Creem@masenate.gov;
Brian.A.Joyce@masenate.gov; Thomas.McGee@masenate.gov;
Richard.Moore@masenate.gov; Anthony.Petruccelli@masenate.gov;
Gale.Candaras@masenate.gov; Richard.Ross@masenate.gov

1. Senator Steven Baddour (Chair)
Phone: 617-722-1604

2. Senator Jennifer Flanagan (Vice-Chair)
Phone: 617-722-1230

3. Senator Benjamin Downing
Phone: 617-722-1625

4. Senator Patricia Jehlen
Phone: 617-722-1578

5. Senator Thomas Kennedy
Phone: 617-722-1200

6. Senator Michael Moore
Phone: 617-722-1485

7. Senator Marc Pacheco
Phone: 617-722-1551

8. Senator James Timilty
Phone: 617 722-1222

9. Senator Michael Knapik
Phone: 617-722-1415

10. Senator Cynthia Stone Creem
Phone: 617-722-1639

11. Senator Brian Joyce
Phone: 617-722-1643

12. Senator Thomas McGee
Phone: 617-722-1350

13. Senator Richard Moore
Phone: 617-722-1420

14. Senator Anthony Petruccelli
Phone: 617-722-1634

15. Senator Gale Candaras
Phone: 617-722-1291

16. Senator Richard Ross
Phone: 617-722-1555

BACKGROUND

Additional reasons to oppose increasing the compulsory school
attendance age:

Children who are compelled to stay in school against their will cause
classroom disruptions and even violence, making learning harder for
their classmates who truly want to learn.

This bill restricts parents' ability to decide if their 16-year-old is
ready for college or the workforce. Many 16-year-olds who are not
academically inclined benefit more from valuable work experience than
from being forced to sit in a classroom.

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 schools. When California raised the upper age limit of
compulsory attendance, unwilling students were so disruptive that new
schools had to be built just to handle them and their behavior
problems, all at the expense of the taxpayer.

According to an October 2011 study released by the U.S. Department of
Education's National Center for Education Statistics (NCES), raising
the compulsory attendance age will not reduce the dropout rate. In the
2008-2009 school year, the most recent date for which statistics are
available, five of the top six states with the highest high school
completion rates - Vermont (89.6%), Minnesota (87.4%), North Dakota
(87.4%), Iowa (85.7%), and New Jersey (85.3%) - compel attendance only
to age 16. Conversely, the state with the lowest completion rate -
Nevada, at 56.3% - compels attendance to age 18. In fact, the five
states with the lowest graduation rates in the country all compel
attendance to either age 17 - Mississippi (62.0%) and South Carolina
(66.0%) - or age 18 - Nevada (56.3%), New Mexico (64.8%), and
Louisiana (67.3%). Complete state-by-state results are available on
page 25 of NCES's October 2011 report:
http://www.hslda.org/elink.asp?id=14103 .

For more information, visit our website at:
http://www.hslda.org/elink.asp?id=14104

We greatly value you and your support - it is a privilege to serve
you! If you or someone you know is not a member of HSLDA, will you
consider taking a moment today to join or recommend us and support our
work defending individual families threatened by government officials
and protecting homeschooling freedom for all? Join now:
http://www.hslda.org/elink.asp?id=14105

Thank you for standing in defense of freedom!

Standing with you,



Michael P. Donnelly, Esq.
Staff Attorney

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-> Extreme makeovers are for extreme circumstances...

Most homeschools don't need an extreme makeover, but there is
something to be said for attention to detail and recognition of
accomplishments. Watch the media and you'll soon see that not
everyone wants home educators and homeschooling to look good.
HSLDA works hard to shed light on the good work of home educators
so it's obvious that we don't need someone "making-over" our
homeschools. Join HSLDA and help us show the world that we're fine
as we are . . . thank you!

More reasons to join HSLDA...
http://www.hslda.org/elink.asp?id=1943

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