May 2, 2006

House Bill 259: An Act Raising Compulsory School Attendance

Representative McClammy

This bill would increase the compulsory attendance age from 16, to 18. This bill should be opposed.

1/10/2006Introduced and referred to the Education committee
2/23/2006 Education Committee Hearing
4/23/2006 Bill died when the Legislature adjourned

HSLDA's Position:
HSLDA opposes this legislation.

Action Requested:

1. Please contact your state representative and urge him to vote against House Bill 259 by giving him this message:

    "Please vote against House Bill 259 which would raise Alabama's compulsory school attendance age. This bill restricts the right of parents to choose educational or work options for their children. This bill will also waste taxpayer dollars in requiring the attendance of students who are unwilling to remain in school."

Please do not identify yourself as a homeschooling family, since this issue is broader than just homeschooling.

To find the name of your state representative, use HSLDA's Legislative Toolbox.

2. Please forward this e-mail to every homeschooling family you know who is not a member of HSLDA and urge them to contact their state representatives with this same message.

Raising the compulsory attendance age will not reduce the dropout rate. In fact, the two states with the highest 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.)

Twenty-nine states only require attendance to age 16. Older children unwilling to learn can cause classroom disruptions and even violence, making learning harder for their classmates who truly want to learn.

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 schools. When California raised the age of compulsory attendance, unwilling students were so disruptive that new schools had to be built just to handle them and their behavior problems, all at the expense of the taxpayer.

For more information on compulsory attendance, please see our memorandum "Raising the Compulsory Attendance Age Fails to Achieve Significant Results."

 Other Resources

Feb.-23-2006—Alabama—Calls Needed to Oppose Compulsory Attendance Age Bill

Bill Text

Bill History