May 25, 2006

Senate Bill 488: Five-Year-Olds Required to Attend School

Senator Suzanne Chun Oakland, Senator Brian Kanno, and Senator Lorraine R. Inouye

Due to hundreds of phone calls from homeschoolers and other concerned parents this bill has been held in the Education committee and is likely dead. However, in case this bill is carried over to the 2007 session HSLDA will continue to closely monitor the bill.

Senate Bill 488 would expand the jurisdiction and control of the public school authorities over your five year olds and erode the right of parents to determine when a child is ready for formal education. Home educators would also be subject to the reporting and evaluation requirements of the homeschool laws one year earlier.

The House had introduced an identical bill, H.B. 61. For more information on this bill see House Bill 61: Five-Year-Olds Required to Attend School

01/24/2005Introduced and Pass First Reading
01/31/2005Referred to the Education and Military Affairs Committee and the Ways and Means Committee.
02/04/2005The committee on Education and Military Affairs scheduled a public hearing on 02-09-05 at 1:15 pm in conference room 225.
02/09/2005The committee(s) on EDM recommend(s) that the measure be HELD. The votes in EDM were as follows: 4 Aye(s): Senator(s) Sakamoto, Hooser, Nishihara, Tsutsui; Aye(s) with reservations: none ; 0 No(es): none; and 2 Excused: Senator(s) Chun Oakland, Hogue.
01/20/2006To be Introduced
01/23/2006Introduced and Pass First Reading.
01/23/2006Referred to House Education, House Finance, Referral Sheet 2
02/01/2006Bill Scheduled to be Heard by House Education on Friday, 02-03-06 At 2 p.m. In House Conference Room 309.
02/03/2006The Committees Recommends That The Measure Be Deferred.
05/05/2006Legislature adjourned.

HSLDA's Position:
This bill was opposed.

Action Requested:
No action required at this time as the bill is dead.

- Lowering the compulsory attendance age from six to five would have subjected Hawaii home educators to the requirements of the homeschool laws one year earlier.

- 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.

- It would have restricted parents' freedom to decide if their children are ready for school.

- Another significant impact of expanding the compulsory attendance age would have been the inevitable tax increase to pay for more classroom space and teachers to accommodate the additional students compelled to attend public schools.

 Other Resources

Feb-04-2005 — Hawaii--Victory in the House! Calls Still Needed in the Senate

Feb-02-2005 — Hawaii--Urgent! More Calls Needed: To Stop Five-Year-Olds Being Required to Attend School

Jan-26-2005 — Hawaii--Calls Needed: To Stop Five-Year-Olds Being Required to Attend School

House Bill 61

Bill Text

Bill History