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2/25/2013 2:13:56 PM
Mike Smith--HSLDA
Nevada--More Calls Needed to Oppose Lowering of Compulsory School Attendance

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From the HSLDA E-lert Service...
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Nevada--More Calls Needed to Oppose Lowering
of Compulsory School Attendance from 7 to 5

Senate Bill 182 Lowers Compulsory Attendance Age from 7 to 5 years
old.

Sponsors:
Senators Smith, Woodhouse, Denis, Jones, Ford, Atkinson, Kihuen,
Manendo, Parks, Segerblom and Spearman

Summary:
SB 182 will lower the compulsory attendance age for entry into school
from 7 to 5 years of age. This requirement will apply to all children,
whether their parents planned to send them to public school or private
school or homeschool.

Status:
Hearing, Senate Education and Assembly Education committees - Today at
3:30 p.m.

HSLDA's Position:
Strongly oppose

Action Requested:

We need more phone calls to the Senate Education and Assembly
Education Committees before 3:30 p.m. today. If you have not called
all members of the committees, please do so before the hearing today
with this message in your own words:

"Please vote against Senate Bill 182 which lowers the compulsory
school attendance age from 7 to 5 for all children in Nevada. Parents
should have the right to make the decision when a child is ready to
attend school. The current age of 7 gives parents that opportunity.
Many children are simply not ready at 5. However, for those who wish
their child to attend school the opportunity to do so already exists
under current Nevada law. Please vote against SB 182."

When contacting the committee members, it is not necessary to identify
yourself as a homeschooler as this would affect every parent, although
many children are already in school at age 5. This issue is broader
than homeschooling; this is a parental rights issue.

Please forward this email to every family you know who is not a member
of HSLDA or not receiving our emails and urge them to contact the
Senate and Assembly Education Committee members with the same message.

If you possibly can, attend the hearing today at 3:30 p.m. in Carson
City (Room 1214, State Legislature Building, 401 S. Carson St, Carson
City) OR in Las Vegas (Room 4401, Grant Sawyer Office Building, 555 E.
Washington Ave., Las Vegas). Nevada Homeschool Network Officers will
be in attendance and testifying against the bill. You are welcome to
testify as well or simply sign in and vote "no on SB182." Your
presence at the hearing is critical to the outcome of this bill.

The Senate Education and Assembly Education Committee members are:

Joyce Woodhouse - Senate Chair
702-896-1453
Joyce.Woodhouse@sen.state.nv.us

Aaron D. Ford - Vice Chair
702-772-5544
Aaron.Ford@sen.state.nv.us

Ruben J. Kihuen
702-274-1707
Ruben.Kihuen@sen.state.nv.us

Barbara K. Cegavske
702-873-0711
Barbara.Cegavske@sen.state.nv.us

Don Gustavson
775-722-1278
Jerry.Stacy@sen.state.nv.us

Elliot T. Anderson - Assembly Chair
702-733-4073
Elliot.Anderson@asm.state.nv.us

Marilyn Dondero Loop - Vice Chair
702-556-0224
Marilyn.DonderoLoop@asm.state.nv.us

Paul Aizley
702-361-8262
Paul.Aizley@asm.state.nv.us

Lesley E. Cohen
702-715-0772
Lesley.Cohen@asm.state.nv.us

Olivia Diaz
702-501-8994
Olivia.Diaz@asm.state.nv.us

Andy Eisen
702-419-4747
Andy.Eisen@asm.state.nv.us

Harvey J. Munford
702-646-4265
Harvey.Munford@asm.state.nv.us

Dina Neal
702-738-5870
Dina.Neal@asm.state.nv.us

Heidi Swank
702-371-6217
Heidi.Swank@asm.state.nv.us

Wesley Duncan
702-767-3733
Wesley.Duncan@asm.state.nv.us

Michele Fiore
702-302-5163
Michele.Fiore@asm.state.nv.us

Randy Kirner
775-852-3857
Randy.Kirner@asm.state.nv.us

Lynn D. Stewart
702-614-0631
Lynn.Stewart@asm.state.nv.us

Melissa Woodbury
775-684-8503
Melissa.Woodbury@asm.state.nv.us

We recognize this may require some time to contact all these
officials, but due to the urgency of this issue, it is critical that
all of the above are contacted by you.

Background:
SB 182 will lower the compulsory attendance age for entry into school
from 7 to 5 years of age. This requirement will apply to all children,
whether their parents planned to send them to public school or private
school or homeschool.

By amending Nevada Revised Statutes sec. 392.040 to lower mandatory
attendance from 7 to 5 years of age, all children, including
homeschooled children, would have to start school at age 5. In other
words, homeschoolers would have to file their notice of intent at age
5.

Analysis:

Requiring children to attend school at age 5 is a very bad idea for
the following reasons:

1. SB 182 forces children into school too soon. There are no
long-term replicable studies proving that mandating attendance at age
5 rather than 7 is better for the educational development of the
child. To the contrary, there is much research indicating that early
childhood education does not improve the child's potential for being a
better student in the future, because early gains disappear in a few
of years. This is especially significant for boys, because their
cognitive and verbal skill development generally lags behind that of
girls at this age.

2. SB 182 is not necessary. Parents who desire to enroll their
children at age 5 in Nevada can choose to do so already. To force
parents to start children in school at the age of 5 interferes with
their fundamental right to direct the education of their children and
to make wise choices regarding the readiness for their children for
education. Many children are simply not ready for school at 5 years
old.

3. SB 182 decreases beneficial parental contact with their children.
Two extra years of development outside of school can be critical for a
child at this early age. Carl Zinsmeister, Adjunct Research 4.
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.

4. SB 182 is based on faulty information. This attempt to bring
children into formal education programs at a younger age is based on
an erroneous assumption. 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. The
conclusions being drawn based on recent studies of child's brain
development are similar to the above faulty conclusions. The fact that
a young child's brain develops rapidly does not warrant the faulty
conclusion that more institutionalized and peer-dominated settings
improve the child's mental, emotional, and social development. There
are studies that have demonstrated the opposite.

5. SB 182 would have an adverse financial impact on all Nevadans.
This increase in the kindergarten population will increase the
financial burden on the state's ability to fund its public education
programs. This will result in the need to increase state education
revenues. Increases in education revenues come either as direct
increases in taxes from citizens; approving and selling bonds, which
moves the tax burden to future generations; or transferring funds from
another part of the State budget.

Sincerely,


Mike Smith
HSLDA President

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