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3/27/2013 5:01:41 PM
Scott Woodruff--HSLDA
Calls Needed to Oppose Expanding Compulsory School Attendance Age

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From the HSLDA E-lert Service...
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Calls Needed to Oppose Expanding Compulsory School Attendance Age

Dear HSLDA Members and Friends:

Two bills that would expand government control over children could be
voted on in the Illinois Legislature at any time. Please call to help
bring them to a halt!

HB 2762 would lower the starting age for compulsory school attendance
from 7 to 6 and repeal the graduation exemption. SB 1307 would lower
the starting age from 7 to 5.

Parents, not the government, are in the best position to decide
whether a child should start formal schooling at 5, 6, or 7. Every
child is different. Mandating that every 5- or 6-year-old be treated
the same way despite their obvious differences between individuals is
bad policy.

Lawmakers need to hear from every adult in your household. If an
adult child in your home has not called, or if one spouse in your home
has not called, please do so. Each potential voter's voice should be
heard!

ACTION REQUESTED

Please make two phone calls: one to your representative and one to
your senator.

When you call your representative, your message can be as simple as:
"Please vote 'no' on HB 2762. It would lower the age of compulsory
school attendance from 7 to 6 and make some young adults attend school
even after high school graduation. Parents, not the government, know
when it's best for their young child to start formal education.
Illinois is in financial trouble. It's the wrong time to expand an
expensive program."

When you call your senator, your message can be as simple as: "Please
vote 'no' on SB 1307. Five- and 6-year-olds should not be forced into
school against their parents' wishes. Taxes will go up for everyone to
pay for it."

It is not necessary to identify yourself as a homeschooler since this
would affect every Illinois parent.

CONTACT INFORMATION

Use this website to find the names of your Illinois state senator and
representative and their phone numbers:
http://www.hslda.org/elink.asp?id=17825
BACKGROUND

Action on these bills was slowed down somewhat when "fiscal notes"
were requested. That has been accomplished, and they could be voted
on now at any time.

HSLDA and the Illinois Christian Home Educators are united in opposing
this bill.

Forcing children to attend school at age 5 or 6 is a bad idea because:

1. There are no long-term repeatable studies proving that starting
school at age 6 rather than 7 is better for the child. Studies show
that early childhood education does not improve a child's future
because early gains disappear in a few years. This is especially
significant for boys, because they develop school-related skills more
slowly than girls at this age.

2. It decreases beneficial parent contact with children. Extra years
of development outside of school can be critical for a young child.
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. The concept behind the bill is faulty. While it is true that young
children's brains develop rapidly, there is no reliable research that
says that formal education is better than a normal home environment
for helping the child grow intellectually. Many studies show just the
opposite: that a home where contact with parents is maximized is the
healthiest way for young children to grow mentally, emotionally and
socially.

4. HB 2762 and SB 1307 would be costly. They will put pressure on
lawmakers to raise your taxes to pay for formal education parents
don't want. It will put pressure on school systems to borrow to build
new buildings, effectively transferring debt to the next generation.

Some bright young people can finish their secondary education before
age 17. They should be allowed to move on with their lives. It's bad
policy to put young adults who have graduated from high school under
any mandatory schooling.

Thank you for standing with us for freedom!

Link to text of HB 2762: http://www.hslda.org/elink.asp?id=17582
Link to text of SB 1307: http://www.hslda.org/elink.asp?id=17583

Sincerely,

Scott A. Woodruff, Esq.,
Senior Counsel,
Home School Legal Defense Association

P.S. We greatly value you and your support--it is a privilege to serve
you! If you or someone you know is not a member of HSLDA, will you
consider taking a moment today to join or recommend us? Your support
enables us to defend individual families and protect homeschooling
freedom for all. Join now: http://www.hslda.org/elink.asp?id=17824

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-> Will your children's inheritance retain its value?

If you pass on a legacy of freedom, your children and their
children's children will thank you. But freedom is never secure;
it must always be guarded. Membership with HSLDA is an investment
in the future that can be passed on to future generations of
families wanting to teach their children at home.

More reasons to join HSLDA...
http://www.hslda.org/elink.asp?id=1944

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