From the HSLDA E-lert Service:


2/8/2013 10:43:42 AM
Tj Schmidt--HSLDA
New Mexico: 4-Year-Olds to be Required to Attend School--Calls Needed!

From the HSLDA E-lert Service...

New Mexico: 4-Year-Olds to be Required to Attend School--Calls Needed!

Dear HSLDA Members and Friends:

At the beginning of this month Senator Linda Lopez introduced Senate
Bill 380. This bill would change the compulsory attendance age in New
Mexico to only 4 years old! The bill amends the definition of a
school-age child to anyone who is 4 years old by September 1.

Senate Bill will apply to every 4-year-old child, including
homeschoolers. This means that you will have to begin reporting for
your children one year earlier than you currently do.

Many 4-year-old children are not ready for school. Senate Bill 380
will take the decision of whether a child is ready for school out of
parents' hands and force them to send their children to school. If
Senate Bill 380 passes, New Mexico would have the youngest compulsory
school attendance age in the country.

Please contact the sponsor of the bill and your state senator in
opposition of Senate Bill 380. You do not need to identify yourself as
a homeschool family if you don't want to, as this bill will apply to
all families in New Mexico.


Please call and email Sen. Lopez and your state senator and give him
or her this message in your own words:

"Please oppose Senate Bill 380. Lowering the compulsory school
attendance age from 5 to 4 will force many students who aren't ready
into school. While some children attend pre-school before 5, Senate
Bill 380 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 Senate Bill 380."

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

Sponsor: Linda M. Lopez (D)
Phone: (505) 986-4737

You can find your legislator by going to and searching by the name of
your legislator, by your address, or by your district.


Lowering the compulsory attendance age from 5 to 4 would subject New
Mexico home educators to the requirements of the homeschool statute
one year earlier than now required. (You do not need to share this
reason with your legislators.)

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 .

If you are not yet a member of HSLDA and would like to help us fight
for greater homeschool freedom in New Mexico please visit . If you would like to be put
on our email list to receive vital e-lerts you may sign up at .

Thank you for your part in fighting for freedom in New Mexico!


Thomas J. Schmidt
HSLDA Staff Attorney

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