Originally Sent: 11/20/2013

From the HSLDA e-lert service…
Home School Legal Defense Association

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Call to Oppose Lowering Compulsory School Attendance Age from 7 to 5

Homeschooling in Maine

Call today!



Senior Counsel Scott Woodruff answers questions and assists members with legal issues in your state. He and his wife homeschooled their children.
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Dear HSLDA Members and Friends:

Your calls are needed immediately to stop LD 1530, which would expand state control over children and families in Maine. Current law requires school attendance beginning at age 7. LD 1530 would lower this to age 5.

If this bill passes, homeschooling parents will have to comply with Maine compulsory school attendance law a full two years earlier than now. Two more years of your child’s life would be under a government mandate.

This bill would also result in an inevitable tax increase because school districts would be required to offer kindergarten programs for this new influx of children.

Action Requested

Use our Legislative Toolbox to find the name of your Maine state senator and representative.

If he or she is listed below as a member of the Education and Cultural Affairs Committee, please call them right away. A work session is scheduled for Monday morning, and they need to hear from you before then.

Please call the Senator Millet and Representative MacDonald (they serve as committee chairs) even if your own senator or representative is not listed below.

Your message can be as simple as: “Please vote ‘no’ on LD 1530. It would lower the age of compulsory school attendance from 7 to 5. Parents, not the government, know when it’s best for their young child to start formal education. 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 Maine parent.

Contact Information

Members of the Committee on Education and Cultural Affairs:

Senator Rebecca Millett, 207-799-3224 Chair
Senator Brian Langley, 207-667-0625
Senator Christopher Johnson, 207-549-3358

Rep. W. MacDonald, 207-633-0570 Chair
Rep. Madonna Soctomah, 207-853-2985
Rep. Helen Rankin, 207-625-4620
Rep. Matthew Pouliot, 207- 441-9418
Rep. Mary Nelson, 207-781-3750
Rep. Michael McClellan, 207-655-4438
Rep. Joyce Maker, 207-454-2327
Rep. Victoria Kornfield, 207-947-7224
Rep. Peter Johnson, 207-695-2019
Rep. Brian Hubbell, 207-288-3947
Rep. Matthea Daughtry, 207-522-0913

Background

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

1. LD 1530 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. Much research indicates 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 age.

2. LD 1530 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. Parents should continue to have the authority to decide what is best for their children.

3. LD 1530 would have an adverse financial impact on all Maine families. The rising kindergarten population will increase the financial burden on the state. This will result in the need to increase state education revenues from either taxes or shifting the burden to future generations through borrowing.

4. This reduction in the starting age for compulsory attendance would definitely apply to homeschool families despite some slightly confusing language in the bill.

Thank you for standing with us for freedom!

Sincerely,

Scott A. Woodruff,
Senior Counsel, HSLDA

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 enables us to defend individual families threatened by government officials and protect homeschooling freedom for all. Join now >>

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Home School Legal Defense Association • P.O. Box 3000 • Purcellville, Virginia 20134-9000
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