From the HSLDA E-lert Service:


3/30/2012 4:31:49 PM
Dee Black--HSLDA
Alaska: Calls Needed -- Bad Compulsory Attendance Age Bill Passes Senate

From the HSLDA E-lert Service...

Alaska: Calls Needed--Bad Compulsory
Attendance Age Bill Passes Senate

Dear HSLDA Members and Friends:

Bad news! Senate Bill 9, legislation that would greatly increase the
state's control over education by expanding the compulsory attendance
age, passed the Alaska Senate this past Wednesday. It is now in the
House of Representatives where it is being considered by the
Education, Judiciary, and Finance Committees. Your calls and emails to
members of these committees are needed to stop this bill that
threatens the freedoms of all Alaska families with children.

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.

Action Requested:

1. Please call and/or email members of the House Education, Judiciary,
and Finance Committees 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 by adding three years to the time a
child is required to attend school. 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. Additionally,
such an expansion in involuntary school attendance will inevitably
result in a tax increase to pay for more teachers and classrooms."

When contacting members of these committees, it is not necessary to
identify yourself as a homeschooler. This issue is broader than

Members of the House Education Committee are as follows:

Representative Alan Dick, Chair
(907) 465-4527

Representative Lance Pruitt, Vice-Chair
(907) 465-3438

Representative Eric Feige
(907) 465-4859

Representative Paul Seaton
(907) 465-2689

Representative Peggy Wilson
(907) 465-3824

Representative Sharon Cissna
(907) 465-3875

Representative Scott Kawasaki
(907) 465-3466

Members of the House Judiciary Committee are as follows:

Representative Carl Gatto, Chair
(907) 465-3743

Representative Steve Thompson, Vice-Chair
(907) 465-3004

Representative Wes Keller
(907) 465-2186

Representative Bob Lynn
(907) 465-4931

Representative Lance Pruitt
(907) 465-3438

Representative Max Gruenberg
(907) 465-4940

Representative Lindsey Holmes
(907) 465-4919

Representative Mike Hawker, Alternate

Members of the House Finance Committee are as follows:

Representative Bill Stolze, Co-Chair
(907) 465-4958

Representative Bill Thomas, Co-Chair
(907) 465-3732

Representative Anna Fairclough, Vice-Chair
(907) 465-3777

Representative Mia Costello
(907) 465-4968

Representative Bryce Edgmon
(907) 465-4451

Representative Reggie Joule
(907) 465-4833

Representative Mark Neuman
(907) 465-2679

Representative Tammie Wilson
(907) 465-4797

Representative Mike Doogan
(907) 465-4998

Representative Les Gara
(907) 465-2647

Representative David Guttenberg
(907) 465-4457

Representative Mike Hawker, Alternate
(907) 465-4949

Representative Beth Kerttula, Alternate
(907) 465-4766

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


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

For more information on compulsory attendance, please see our
memorandum at

Please call or email today!


Dewitt T. Black, III
HSLDA Senior Counsel

-> Can you look at the clouds and tell the direction of the wind?

An interesting phenomenon of wind is that it can blow in multiple
directions at the same time, at different heights from the ground.
But usually there is a prevailing wind. HSLDA watches the gusts
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of home education. So no matter which way the wind is blowing,
we're there to protect your family.

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