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Bad Legislation Looming Ahead
Governor Jennifer Granholm has recently announced plans to increase the compulsory attendance age for Michigan students from 16 to 18. She believes this will solve the dropout problem Michigan public schools are currently experiencing. She even claimed during appearances in Detroit and Clinton Townships that students would not be able to compete in the global marketplace if this increase in the compulsory attendance age doesn't occur.
This of course would mean two more years of government control over homeschooling. Presently, the public school districts authority over homeschoolers ends when a child reaches the age of 16.
Furthermore, raising the compulsory attendance age will not reduce the dropout rate. In fact, the two states with the best high school completion rates, Maryland at 94.5% and North Dakota at 94.7%, compel attendance only to age 16. The state with the lowest completion rate (Oregon: 75.4%) compels attendance to age 18. (Figures are three-year averages, 1996 through 1998.)
In addition, Gov. Granholm believes that Michigan needs to have a core curriculum requirement for their public schools. "We're one of the few states that right now doesn't have a core curriculum—and that's not acceptable," states Granholm. The plan would require students to take four years of English and math, three years of science and social science, one year of health and physical education, a year of visual or performing art, and an online class.
While the core curriculum requirement would not directly affect homeschoolers, it may pose a problem for Michigan homeschool high school graduates trying to get into Michigan colleges.
This potential two-year increase in the compulsory attendance age must not happen. Keep your eye out for HSLDA e-lerts with further instructions on how you can help stop this initiative.