May 29, 2008

House Bill 311: Lowers the Age of Compulsory Education and Broadens Testing Requirement

Representatives Kyle T. Yamashita, Jerry L. Chang, Pono Chong, Jon Riki Karamatsu, Clift Tsuji, Ryan I. Yamane

House Bill 311 was carried over from the 2007 legislative session. This bill would have lowered the age a child is required to attend school from 6 to 5, increasing government control over your homeschooled child.

House Bill 311 would have enabled all school districts to require all children to attend school when they reach the age of 5 and requires all children to receive testing before entering the first grade in a public school.

In essence, H.B. 311 would have required a homeschool parent to file a year earlier than they do now! It would also have made kindergarten mandatory for all 5-year-olds.

8/27/2007Carried over into 2008 session.

Bill died when legislature adjourned.

HSLDA's Position:
HSLDA opposed H.B. 311.

Action Requested:
No Action is requested at this time.

Some of the problems with lowering the compulsory attendance are listed below.

Lowering the compulsory attendance age from 6 to 5 would subject 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 restrict parents’ freedom to decide if their children are ready for school. This bill would require homeschool parents to file for their children a year earlier that they do now and require mandatory testing for all children entering the first grade!

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.

For more information on compulsory attendance, please see our memorandum, “Early Education Shows no Benefit.”

Thank you for your part in fighting for freedom in Hawaii!

 Other Resources

Bill Text (html)

Bill History