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Date:
From:
Subject:

4/5/2013 5:00:01 PM
Mike Smith--HSLDA
Nevada: Online Votes Needed to Oppose Lowering Compulsory School Age

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From the HSLDA E-lert Service...
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Nevada: Online Votes Needed to Oppose SB 182's Lowering of Compulsory
School Attendance from 7 to 5

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

Status:

SB 182 was debated in the Education Committee on February 25. Many of
you made phone calls and sent emails prior to that hearing, asking the
committee to vote against lowering the compulsory school attendance
age to 5. The Senate Education Committee did not vote and has now
scheduled a workshop to discuss the bill on Wednesday, April 10. It
appears that we have an uphill battle to defeat efforts to lower the
compulsory attendance age as there is a strong desire to make
kindergarten mandatory at age 5. It is highly likely the committee
will vote on the bill at the April 10 meeting, and, if passed, it will
go to the full Senate for a vote.

Although we would rather have the age of mandatory school attendance
remain at age 7, Nevada Homeschool Network (NHN) and HSLDA have
proffered an amendment to the bill sponsor that would give parents an
option to opt out of the mandatory attendance requirement. This would
accommodate parents who do not desire to have their children begin
formal education at age 5.

Action Requested:

1. It is vitally important that everyone go online to the Nevada
Legislative Opinion page (http://www.hslda.org/elink.asp?id=17965 )
and vote NO on SB182. Also, it is essential that you leave a written
comment on the bill. In your own words simply express opposition to
lowering the compulsory attendance age to 5. Many children simply
aren't ready for formal education at age 5, and parents should have
the right to withhold them from school until they are ready. For
further comment material, please see the analysis below.

2. Please forward this email to all state residents who are concerned
about educational freedom in Nevada, requesting them to vote online
and oppose SB182.

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, 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 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 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.

In other news, perhaps you've heard of HSLDA's current fight to defend
the German Romeike family from deportation. After the Romeikes faced
fines, losing custody of their children, and the threat of
imprisonment as a homeschooling family in Germany, they moved to the
United States seeking asylum for educational freedom. HSLDA is
currently defending them in the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals. Click
here http://www.hslda.org/elink.asp?id=17966 for more information and
to sign the petition to the White House to stop the deportation of the
Romeikes.

Sincerely,




Mike Smith
HSLDA President

Bill Text http://www.hslda.org/elink.asp?id=17967
P.S. We greatly value you and your support--it is a privilege to serve
you. Thank you for all you do for freedom! 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 for our work enables us to defend
individual families threatened by government officials and protect
homeschooling freedom for all. Join now >>
http://www.hslda.org/elink.asp?id=17968

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-> Have you ever yelled into the wind, only to hear the sound of your
voice blown back at you?

It's hard to be heard in the midst of a storm. Trying to influence
federal legislation is much like yelling to be heard while
standing in a fierce wind. Yet when 80,000 voices join together,
they become a powerful force that cannot be drowned out.
Join HSLDA to be heard above the tempests that threaten homeschool
freedoms.

More reasons to join HSLDA...
http://www.hslda.org/elink.asp?id=1939

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