May 15, 2009

House Bill 2292: Raises the Compulsory Age to 18 Years Old

Representitives Schapira. Meyer, Patterson, Waters, Court, Crandall, Young, Wright

During the 2009 session, a compulsory school attendance bill was introduced in the House seeking to increase the compulsory age from 16 to 18 years of age. If passed, House Bill 2292 would have required children to attend school two years longer than they are currently required to.

Homeschool parents would have been required to continue the home education program until children reached the age of 18. This bill would have also limited parental control in deciding if their child might benefit more from work experience than remaining in school until they are 18.

Additionally, taxes would have inevitably been increased to pay for the cost of two more years of compulsory school attendance.

Thanks to your calls this bill received strong opposition and died in committee.


1/20/2009Assigned to Rules and Education Committees
2/23/2009Scheduled hearing Rules and Education Committees
4/24/2009Legislature adjourned sine die

This bill died when the legislature adjourned.

HSLDA's Position:
HSLDA is opposed to H.B. 2292.

Action Requested:
No action is requested at this time.

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.

It would restrict parents’ freedom to decide if their 16-year-old is ready for college or the workforce. (Some 16-year-olds who are not academically inclined benefit more from valuable work experience than from being forced to sit in a classroom.

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 upper age limit 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.

 Other Resources

E-lert—2/20/2009—Arizona: Urgent Calls Needed to Stop Government Control Over Homeschoolers.

E-lert—2/26/2009—Arizona: Great News: Compulsory Bill Fails!

Bill Text ( requires Adobe Acrobat Reader)

Bill History