Originally Sent: 1/28/2014
|From the HSLDA e-lert service|
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Calls Needed to Oppose Compulsory Attendance Age Bills
Dear HSLDA Members and Friends:
How would you like it if your homeschool had to be licensed by the State of Mississippi in order to be legal? Scary as that sounds, that appears to be the effect of four of seven bills that would lower Mississippi’s compulsory school attendance age from 6 to 5. House Bill 826 and Senate Bills 2352, 2815, and 2842 would not only lower the compulsory attendance age but could be interpreted to require that children of kindergarten age attend a “licensed” school. These bills define the term “school” for kindergarten-age children as “any licensed public, parochial, or nonpublic school kindergarten program which promotes services that address the cognitive, social and emotional needs of five-year-old children.” Home instruction programs in Mississippi are nonpublic schools. House Bills 723 and 1134 would lower the compulsory attendance age to 5 but would make enrollment of a 5-year-old child voluntary. Senate Bill 2349 would simply lower the compulsory attendance age to 5.
All of the House of Representatives bills are in the House Education Committee, while the Senate bills are pending consideration by the Senate Education Committee. Both committees could vote on their bills at any time. Members of these committees need to hear from hundreds of you in order to stop these bills that threaten your fundamental freedom to homeschool your children.
1. Please call and/or email members of the House Education Committee and the Senate Education Committee with this message or something similar in your own words:
For the House Education Committee:
“Please vote against House bills 723, 826, and 1134, which would lower Mississippi’s compulsory school attendance age from 6 to 5. House Bill 826 would also require that kindergarten-age children attend a state-licensed school. Such licensing would undermine the fundamental freedom of nonpublic education. Further, parents, not state officials, are best able to determine when their child is ready for formal education.”
For the Senate Education Committee:
“Please vote against Senate bills 2349, 2352, 2815, and 2842, which would lower Mississippi’s compulsory school attendance age from 6 to 5. All of these bills except Senate Bill 2349 would require that kindergarten-age children attend a state-licensed school. Such licensing would undermine the fundamental freedom of nonpublic education. Further, parents, not state officials, are best able to determine when their child is ready for formal education.”
The members of the House Education Committee are as follows:
John L. Moore, Chairman
Alyce G. Clarke, Vice-Chairman
William Tracy Arnold
Randy P. Boyd
Reecy L. Dickson
Jeffrey S. Guice
Eugene Forrest Hamilton
Sara R. Thomas
Joseph L. Warren
The members of the Senate Education Committee are as follows:
Gray Tollison, Chairman
Nancy Adams Collins, Vice-Chairman
Terry C. Burton
Angela Burks Hill
W. Briggs Hopson III
John A. Polk
J. P. Wilemon, Jr.
2. Please forward this email to every family you know who is not a member of HSLDA and urge them to contact members of the committees about these bills.
Many education experts have concluded that beginning a child’s formal education too early may actually result in burnout and poor scholastic performance later.
Lowering the compulsory attendance age erodes the authority of parents who are in the best position to determine when their child’s formal education should begin. This bill would restrict parents’ freedom to decide if their children are ready for school.
Another significant impact of expanding the compulsory attendance age would be an inevitable tax increase to pay for more classroom space and teachers to accommodate the additional students compelled to attend public school.
For more information on compulsory attendance, please see our memorandum.
Please call or email today!
Dewitt T. Black, III
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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