Originally Sent: 1/17/2014
|From the HSLDA e-lert service|
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Help Needed This Week to Prevent Compulsory Schooling for 5- and 6-year-olds
Dear HSLDA Members and Friends:
Right now you have the freedom to decide for yourself what, if anything, to do in the way of schooling your 5- and 6-year-old. This freedom is in jeopardy. A hearing will be held this Thursday on a measure that would put your 5- and 6-year-old under the government mandates of compulsory attendance.
LD 1530 would make all children subject to government-mandated education requirements as soon as they reach age 5. We need your help!
(1) Please send an email to the two committee chairs, Senator Millet and Representative MacDonald, asking them to oppose LD 1530. Say it in your own words, and make it personal—don’t “copy and paste” from this email. Some basic reasons to oppose the bill are listed under “background” below.
(2) Also, send an email to your own senator or representative if he or she is on the Education and Cultural Affairs Committee. Use our Legislative Toolbox to find the name of your Maine state senator and representative.
It is not necessary to identify yourself as a homeschooler since this would affect every Maine parent.
(3) Come and attend the work session. Although you will not be allowed to speak, we need a big crowd to send a message. The work session will be at 1:00 PM in Room 202, Cross State Office Building, 111 Sewall St, Augusta. (And stay to attend a 2 PM work session in support of LD 1428, the religious freedom bill!)
Members of the Committee on Education and Cultural Affairs:
Senator Rebecca J. Millett (D-Cumberland), Chair
Senator Christopher K. Johnson (D-Lincoln)
Senator Brian D. Langley (R-Hancock)
Representative W. Bruce MacDonald (D-Boothbay), Chair
Representative Mary Pennell Nelson (D-Falmouth)
Representative Helen Rankin (D-Hiram)
Representative Matthea Elisabeth Larsen Daughtry (D-Brunswick)
Representative Brian L. Hubbell (D-Bar Harbor)
Representative Victoria P. Kornfield (D-Bangor)
Representative Peter B. Johnson (R-Greenville)
Representative Joyce A. Maker (R-Calais)
Representative Michael D. McClellan (R-Raymond)
Representative Matthew G. Pouliot (R-Augusta)
Representative Madonna M. Soctomah (Passamaquoddy Tribe)
Across the nation, when homeschoolers work together, they have had remarkable success in protecting freedom by stopping the expansion of compulsory age brackets. The crucial recipe for victory includes a simple ingredient: the willingness of ordinary homeschool moms and dads to spend 15 minutes to make a phone call or send an email!
History shows that lawmakers respond when they get a large volume of calls and emails. God blesses it when ordinary moms and dads put forth effort to protect freedom so they can hand it down to their children.
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.
5. LD 1530 creates an unfunded mandate. It obligates school districts to provide expanded services without providing any funding. Unfunded mandates are strongly disfavored.
Thank you for standing with us for freedom!
Scott A. Woodruff,
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 threatened by government officials and protect homeschooling freedom for all. Join now >>
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