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Date:
From:
Subject:

3/28/2012 2:34:59 PM
Dee Black--HSLDA
Alaska -- Calls Needed This Morning to Oppose Compulsory Attendance Age Bill

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From the HSLDA E-lert Service...
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Alaska -- Calls Needed This Morning
to Oppose Compulsory Attendance Age Bill

Dear HSLDA Members and Friends:

Your calls are needed to stop a bill that would significantly expand
state control over education in Alaska. Current law requires school
attendance between the ages of 7 and 16 or completion of the 12th
grade. Senate Bill 9 would change the ages to between 6 and 18,
completion of the 12th grade, or graduation from high school. This
would potentially add another three years of homeschooling for every
child, regardless of the child's level of maturity or readiness to
begin formal instruction at age 6 and regardless of the child's
aptitude or interests at age 16.

If this bill passes, parents will be required to comply with the
homeschool law one year earlier and for an additional two years unless
the child first completes the 12th grade or graduates from high
school. This means that parents of a high school student will be
locked into another two years of homeschooling at a time when the
child may wish to pursue other educational options or begin a
vocation. As freedom-loving homeschoolers, we oppose any effort to
expand the state's control over education in any form.

Senate Bill 9 is scheduled for its third and final reading in the
Senate today. This bill needs to be stopped before it gains any more
momentum.

Your state senator needs to hear from you right now!

Action Requested:

1. Please call and/or email your state senator with this message or
something similar in your own words:

"Please vote against Senate Bill 9 which would expand Alaska's
compulsory school attendance age. Parents, not state officials, are
best able to determine when their child is ready for formal education.
This bill also restricts the right of parents to choose when a child
may pursue other educational or work options. Requiring the attendance
of students who are unwilling to remain in school beyond age 16 will
have a disruptive effect on other students' learning."

When contacting your senator, do not identify yourself as a
homeschooler. This is broader than just a homeschooling issue.

To obtain the contact information for your senator, please go to
http://www.hslda.org/elink.asp?id=14207 .

2. Please forward this email to every family you know who is not a
member of HSLDA and urge them to contact their state senators.

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. This bill 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.

Raising the compulsory attendance age will not reduce the dropout
rate. In fact, the two states with the highest high school completion
rates, Maryland at 94.5% and North Dakota at 94.7%, compel attendance
only to age 16. The state with the lowest completion rate (Oregon:
75.4%) compels attendance to age 18. (Figures are three-year averages,
1996 through 1998.)

Twenty-nine states only require attendance to age 16. Older children
unwilling to learn can cause classroom disruptions and even violence,
making learning harder for their classmates who truly want to learn.

It would restrict parents' freedom to decide if their 16-year-old is
ready for college or the work force. Some 16-year-olds who are not
academically inclined will benefit more from valuable work experience
than from being forced to sit in a classroom.

To view the text of this bill, please go to
http://www.hslda.org/elink.asp?id=14208

For more information on compulsory attendance, please see our Issues
Library entry: http://www.hslda.org/elink.asp?id=14209

Please call or email today!


Sincerely,

Dewitt T. Black, III
HSLDA Senior Counsel

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