From the HSLDA E-lert Service:


4/9/2013 12:25:05 PM
Mike Smith--HSLDA
Nevada: Online Votes Needed to Oppose SB 182's Lowering of Compulsory Attendance

From the HSLDA E-lert Service...

Nevada: Online Votes Needed to Oppose SB 182's Lowering of Compulsory
Attendance from 7 to 5

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

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. Please call or email and ask politely each senator on the committee
that they either remove Section 8 of the bill lowering the compulsory
attendance age to 5, or provide for an exemption for 5- and
6-year-olds, giving parents the right to decide when their children
are ready to attend school.

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

The Senate Education Committee members are:

Joyce Woodhouse - Senate Chair

Aaron D. Ford - Vice Chair

Ruben J. Kihuen

Barbara K. Cegavske

Don Gustavson

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

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 years.
This is especially significant for boys, because their cognitive and
verbal skill development generally lags behind that of girls at this

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

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 for more information and
to sign the petition to the White House to stop the deportation of the


Mike Smith
HSLDA President

Bill Text

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