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Date:
From:
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1/30/2013 4:39:46 PM
Tj Schmidt--HSLDA
Washington--Please Call in Opposition to Compulsory School Attendance Bill!

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From the HSLDA E-lert Service...
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Washington--Please Call in Opposition to Compulsory School Attendance
Bill!

Dear HSLDA Members and Friends:

The House Education Committee will have a hearing on House Bill 1283
tomorrow, January 31, at 8 a.m. This bill will lower the compulsory
school attendance age from 8 years old to 6 years old. We need your
calls now to oppose this bill.

While House Bill 1283 exempts homeschool parents from having to report
to their local school district until their child is 8 years old, this
will likely cause several problems in the future.

First, contrary to what some have said, homeschool students will be
required to be in school when they turn 6. Under the bill, a
homeschool family will only be exempted from reporting until their
child turns 8. This is because the compulsory school attendance age
will be lowered to 6 and a child will only be exempt from attending
public school if he or she is "receiving home-based instruction." So,
to be exempt the child must be homeschooled at 6.

Second, when a report is made that a 6- or 7-year-old is not in
school, a parent won't be able to simply claim they are homeschooling
them. Instead, a homeschool family will likely have to provide some
proof that they are in fact educating their child. Currently in
Washington, if someone reports that your child is not in school you
would only need to demonstrate that he or she is not 8 yet or have the
police/social worker verify with the local school district that you
have filed your notice of intent. In a lot of situations the
investigation is dropped before the parent is contacted because social
services can simply contact the school district to verify the child is
being homeschooled. Similarly, officials often don't bother
investigating allegations involving 6- or 7-year-old children. Now
that will have to change.

Finally, under House Bill 1283, a special exemption is being created
for homeschool parents reporting until their child is 8. Once the
compulsory attendance age is lowered to 6 a future bill will only need
to remove this exemption for homeschool families reporting, and they
will have to submit a notice when their child is 6.

For these reasons and more, we don't believe House Bill 1283 is in the
best interest of parental rights in Washington. It will require all
children to begin school at 6. While most students will begin at that
age, or earlier, this bill will prevent parents from being able to
decide when their child is ready to start school. Please contact the
House Education Committee now and oppose House Bill 1283.


REQUESTED ACTION:

Please call and email the House Education Committee members listed
below to give them this message in your own words:

"Please oppose House Bill 1283. Lowering the compulsory school
attendance age from 8 to 6 will force many students who aren't ready
into their local school. While most children begin school before 8,
House Bill 1283 will take away the right of parents to decide when
their children should begin school. As my child's parent, I should
determine when my child is ready for school. Please oppose House
1283."

There is no need to identify yourself as a homeschooler; instead you
can identify yourself as a concerned parent and taxpayer.

If your last name begins with A-M please call the first group. If your
last name beings with N-Z please call the second group.

House Education Committee Members
Group One
Chairman
Representative Sharon Tomiko Santos (D)
Phone: (360) 786-7944
Email: SharonTomiko.Santos@leg.wa.gov

Representative Cathy Dahlquist (R)
Phone: (360) 786-7846
Email: Cathy.Dahlquist@leg.wa.gov

Representative Steve Berquist (D)
Phone: (360) 786-7862
Email: Steve.Bergquist@leg.wa.gov

Representative Kathy Haigh (D)
Phone: (360) 786-7966
Email: Kathy.Haigh@leg.wa.gov

Representative Brad Hawkins (R)
Phone: (360) 786-7832
Email: Brad.Hawkins@leg.wa.gov

Representative Sam Hunt (D)
Phone: (360) 786-7992
Email: Sam.Hunt@leg.wa.gov

Representative Kristine Lytton (D)
Phone: (360) 786-7800
Email: Kristine.Lytton@leg.wa.gov
Representative John McCoy (D)
Phone: (360) 786-7864
Email: John.McCoy@leg.wa.gov

Representative Kevin Parker (R)
Phone: (360) 786-7922
Email: Kevin.Parker@leg.wa.gov

Representative Gerry Pollett (D)
Phone: (360) 786-7886
Email: Gerry.Pollet@leg.wa.gov

Representative Judy Warnick (R)
Phone: (360) 786-7932
Email: Judy.Warnick@leg.wa.gov

Group Two
Vice-Chairman
Representative Monica Stonier (D)
Phone: (360) 786-7994
Email: Monica.Stonier@leg.wa.gov

Representative Chad Magendanz (R)
Phone: (360) 786-7876
Email: Chad.Magendanz@leg.wa.gov

Representative Susan Fagan (R)
Phone: (360) 786-7942
Email: Susan.Fagan@leg.wa.gov

Representative Mark Hargrove (R)
Phone: (360) 786-7918
Email: Mark.Hargrove@leg.wa.gov

Representative Dave Hayes (R)
Phone: (360) 786-7914
Email: Dave.Hays@leg.wa.gov

Representative Brad Klippert (R)
Phone: (360) 786-7882
Email: Brad.Klippert@leg.wa.gov

Representative Marcie Maxwell (D)
Phone: (360) 786-7894
Email: Marcie.Maxwell@leg.wa.gov

Representative Tina Orwall (D)
Phone: (360) 786-7834
Email: Tina.Orwall@leg.wa.gov

Representative Liz Pike (R)
Phone: (360) 786-7812
Email: Liz.Pike@leg.wa.gov

Representative Larry Seaquist (D)
Phone: (360) 786-7802
Email: Larry.Seaquist@leg.wa.gov


BACKGROUND

Lowering the compulsory attendance age from 8 to 6 will force
Washington home educators to begin teaching their children two years
earlier then they are currently required. House Bill 1283 will just
keep the reporting deadline at 8 years old for homeschoolers. (You do
not need to share this reason with your legislators but can if they
want to get into a technical review of the bill.)

According to the 2005 NAEP test scores, children from states that have
low compulsory attendance ages (5-6) did not score any higher than
children from the other states, and in some subjects their average was
actually lower.

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.

A report published February 6, 2007 by the Goldwater Institute
examines Stanford 9 test scores and finds Arizona kindergarten
programs initially improve learning but have no measurable impact on
reading, math, or language arts test scores by 5th grade.

The data show that students in schools with all-day kindergarten
programs have statistically significant higher 3rd-grade test scores,
but there is no impact on 5th-grade scores. This finding is consistent
with previous research. Forcing children into school early delivers
short-term benefits at best.

For more information on compulsory school attendance, please see our
memorandum at http://www.hslda.org/elink.asp?id=6131

If you are not yet a member of HSLDA and would like to help us fight
for greater homeschool freedom in Washington please visit
http://www.hslda.org/elink.asp?id=17047 . If you would like to be put
on our email list to receive vital e-lerts you may sign up at
http://www.hslda.org/elink.asp?id=17048 .

Thank you for your part in fighting for freedom in Washington!

Sincerely,

Thomas J. Schmidt
HSLDA Staff Attorney

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-> How many of your friends would pay your legal fees?

As a member of HSLDA, you have 80,000 families standing with you
to protect and advance homeschool freedoms in the United States
and foreign countries.

More reasons to join HSLDA...
http://www.hslda.org/elink.asp?id=1106

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