From the HSLDA E-lert Service:


4/9/2012 10:58:50 AM
HSLDA—Mike Smith and Roy Hanson
California: Call Now to Oppose Mandatory Kindergarten

From the HSLDA E-lert Service...

California: Call Now to Oppose Mandatory Kindergarten

Bill: AB 2203 (as introduced 2/23/12) 5-Year-Old Compulsory Education

Author: State Assembly Member V. Manuel Perez

Position: Strongly OPPOSE

Status: New Hearing date set for this Wednesday, April 11, 2012 in
California State Assembly Education Committee.

Summary of Concern:
AB 2203 would lower the compulsory education age from 6 to 5 years of
age, in effect making kindergarten mandatory. AB 2203 also would take
another step toward forcing a mandatory state-licensed preschool
program for all 3- and 4-year-olds.

Information included in this email:
A. Action Items
B. Opposition Points to Share with Legislators
C. Background Information

A. Action Items:

If you called already, please call again--(preferably before 3 p.m.
tomorrow, Tuesday, April 10) the member of the Assembly Education
Committee according to the first letter of your last name as indicated
in the alphabetized list below.

"Please vote no on AB 2203 (by Perez). I oppose lowering the
compulsory attendance age to 5 or making kindergarten mandatory."

2) Consider following up your call by faxing a brief letter.
(Please refer to the "Opposition Points to Share with Legislators" for
additional ideas you could include in writing your letter to fax.)

> Call as a parent and citizen. This bill directly affects all
families with young children.
> Do not disclose the source of this alert. All bills are available
on the Internet.
> Because emails are easily ignored -- calls, letters, and faxes are
more effective.
> Reprint this for your friends, church, school, and group.
> Pray for a proper outcome.

For Action Item No. 1 above, please call the member of the Assembly
Education Committee according to the first letter of your last name as
indicated in the following list:

Julia Brownley
Fax: 916-319-2141

Tom Ammiano
Phone: 916-319-2013
Fax: 916-319-2113

Joan Buchanan
Phone: 916-319-2015
Fax: 916-319-2115

Betsy Butler
Phone: 916-319-2053
Fax: 916-319-2153

Wilmer Amina Carter
Phone: 916-319-2062
Fax: 916-319-2162

Mike Eng
Phone: 916-319-2049
Fax: 916-319-2149

Shannon Grove
Phone: 916-319-2032
Fax: 916-319-2132

Linda Halderman, M.D.
Phone: 916-319-2029
Fax: 916-319-2129

Chris Norby
Phone: 916-319-2072
Fax: 916-319-2172

Donald Wagner
Phone: 916-319-2070
Fax: 916-319-2170

Das Williams
Phone: 916-319-2035
Fax: 916-319-2135

You may use one or more of the "Opposition Points to Share with
Legislators" stated below if you fax a letter to a committee member --
preferably before 3 p.m. tomorrow, Tuesday, April 10.

(For more information about the Education Committee members and
addresses for sending letters please visit:

B. Opposition Points to Share with Legislators:

1. AB 2203 is not necessary. According to the Assembly Education
Committee and the California Department of Education on March 16,
2012, 90-95% of all children of kindergarten age already attend public
or private kindergarten. Parents who desire to enroll their children
at age 5 in California can choose to do so already. In September
2002, Governor Davis vetoed AB 634, which addressed mandatory
kindergarten attendance saying, "I am concerned that this bill would
unduly restrict a parent's or guardian's education choices for their
children. I believe parents should retain the right to choose an
education program for their 5-year-old children."

2. AB 2203 decreases beneficial parental contact with their
children. An extra year of development outside of school can be
critical for a child at this early age. Carl Zinsmeister, adjunct
research associate at the American Enterprise Institute for Public
Policy Research, says, "Declining parental attachment is an extremely
serious risk to children today. The verdict of enormous psychological
literature is that time spent with the parent is the very clearest
correlate of healthy child development." Parents should continue to
have the authority to decide what is best for their children.

3. AB 2203 forces children into school too soon. There is much
research indicating that early childhood education not only can cause
both physical developmental and behavioral problems in future years
but also does not improve the child's potential for being a better
student later on. This is especially significant for boys, because
their cognitive and verbal skill development generally lags behind
that of girls at this age.

4. AB 2203 is based on faulty information. Arthur Jensen, a
learning psychologist, wrote in the Harvard Educational Review in 1969
that Benjamin Bloom's conclusion that people develop 50% of their
mature intelligence by the age of 4 is a statistically unwarranted
conclusion. In 1970, Nancy Bayley, a University of California child
psychologist whose data Bloom used, pointed out that Bloom's theory
was wrong because it was based on an inadequate definition of
intelligence. In spite of statements to the contrary, there is no
solid evidence that early education brings any lasting or permanent
educational benefit to a child.

5. AB 2203 would place an increased financial burden on parents who
desire to enroll their children in private schools starting with the
1st grade.

6. For documentation of research supporting the above statements and
additional related research results, please see our background
documents on early childhood education at Every parent should read
this short paper.

C. Background Information:

> AB 2203 would lower the compulsory attendance age for entry into
school from 6 to 5 years of age. This requirement would apply to all
children, whether their parents plan to send them to public school or
private school (including private home schools).

> Rushing children into formal education by lowering the age for
compulsory education will exact a heavy toll on the development of
many children and will weaken the role of parents in their lives.
This is diametrically opposed to the message parents are routinely
given, that parents need to be more involved in their children's
lives. However, parents cannot be more involved when the state either
encourages or requires children to be with their parents for less
time. Research supports later rather than earlier entry of children
into institutionalized settings for educational development to be the
most beneficial.

> AB 2203 encroaches on the fundamental right of parents to direct
the upbringing and education of their children. It ignores the
long-standing presumption that parents act in the best interest of
their children, by requiring parents to enroll their children in
kindergarten rather than allowing them the choice specified in current
law. It disregards the parent's understanding of what would be the
best course of action for his own child's education and development.

> AB 2203 also would establish a voluntary kindergarten readiness
program for every child under 5 years of age in participating

> Advocates of government control of all children would be able to
use AB 2203 as a step toward establishing a cradle-to-grave,
government-run education and human development program. Passage of AB
2203 could be followed by future legislation making institutionalized
preschool mandatory for every 3- and 4-year-old child. Universal
preschool has been proposed by legislators and openly encouraged by
proponents of early childhood education. The District of Columbia
considered 3-year-old compulsory education a few years ago.

This would not be something homeschooling parents could comply with
simply by starting their private school earlier. The California
Education Code governs education for pupils between the ages of 5 and
18 with the current compulsory education ages being 6 to 18. For
education below the age of 4 years and 9 months, there is a different
set of laws and a different department (California Department of
Social Services, Community Care Licensing Division) to govern and
oversee all education and care programs for this age group.

The requirements for establishing a certified education program for
those under the age of 5 years would be cost-prohibitive and
time-prohibitive for virtually all homeschooling families. The
licensing regulations govern everything from food to toys, from
educational methods to actual materials and topics, and facility
standards (your home), including play areas, bathrooms, kitchen, fence
and gates around property, etc. Also, your home may be in an area
that has zoning issues that would also regulate or prohibit such
usage. The bottom line is that this would not be just adding a few
more years to the beginning of your home-based private schools.
Rather it would force all parents to send their 3- and 4-year-olds out
of the home for institutional early education regardless of the
desires of the parents.

For information on how to contact your state assembly member and state
senator, please visit:

-> 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
and monitors the prevailing trends of change in the legal climate
of home education. So no matter which way the wind is blowing,
we're there to protect your family.

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