From the HSLDA E-lert Service:


5/7/2012 2:38:35 PM
Mike Smith, HSLDA--Roy Hanson, FPM
California: AB 2203--5-Year-Old Compulsory Education--Calls Needed

From the HSLDA E-lert Service...

California: AB 2203 -- 5-Year-Old Compulsory Education -- Calls Needed

From: Mike Smith, HSLDA and Roy Hanson, Family Protection Ministries

Bill: AB 2203 (as amended 4/24/12) - 5-Year-Old Compulsory Education
Author: State Assembly Member V. Manuel Perez

Position: Strongly OPPOSE

Status: New Hearing date set for Wednesday, May 9, 2012 in California
State Assembly Appropriations 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 E-mail:
A. Action Item
B. Opposition Points to Share with Legislators
C. Background Information

A. Action Item:

CALL IMMEDIATELY -- If you called already, please call again
(preferably before 3:00 p.m., Tuesday, May 8) the member of the
Assembly Appropriations 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."

> 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 e-mails 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 the action item above, please call the member of the Assembly
Appropriations Committee according to the first letter of your last
name as indicated in the following list:

Felipe Fuentes (Chair)
Phone: 916-319-2039
Fax: 916-319-2139

Diane Harkey (Vice-Chair)
Phone: 916-319-2073
Fax: 916-319-2173

Robert Blumenfield
Phone: 916-319-2040
Fax: 916-319-2140

Steven Bradford
Phone: 916-319-2051
Fax: 916-319-2151

Charles Calderon
Phone: 916-319-2058
Fax: 916-319-2158

Nora Campos
Phone: 916-319-2023
Fax: 916-319-2123

Mike Davis
Phone: 916-319-2048
Fax: 916-319-2148

Tim Donnelly
Phone: 916-319-2059
Fax: 916-319-2159

Mike Gatto
Phone: 916-319-2043
Fax: 916-319-2143

Isadore Hall
Phone: 916-319-2052
Fax: 916-319-2152

Jerry Hill
Phone: 916-319-2019
Fax: 916-319-2119

Ricardo Lara
Phone: 916-319-2050
Fax: 916-319-2150

Holly Mitchell
Phone: 916-319-2047
Fax: 916-319-2147

Jim Nielsen
Phone: 916-319-2002
Fax: 916-319-2102

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

Jose Solorio
Phone: 916-319-2069
Fax: 916-319-2169

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

(For more information about the Appropriations 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
first 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 homeschools).

> 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 that later rather than earlier entry of
children into institutionalized settings is the most beneficial for
educational development.

> 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 seamless, 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. Washington D.C. 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,
fences 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:

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