June 15, 2005

Senate Bill 409: Expansion of Mandatory School Age

Senator Kwame Raoul (D-District 13)

This bill will lower the compulsory attendance age from 7 to 5. It poses a threat to homeschoolers because it expands the state's jurisdiction over all children by subjecting 5 year-olds to the compulsory attendance law.

Home School Legal Defense Association and Illinois Christian Home Education Coalition (ILCHEC) urge you to take a moment and call your state senator to stop this encroachment on your freedom.

If we act now, we have a good opportunity to defeat this bill in the Senate Elementary and Secondary Education Committee.

02/17/2005Assigned to Senate Education Committee
04/20/2005Assigned to Elementary and Secondary Education
5/20/2005Bill died

HSLDA's Position:
HSLDA is opposed to this bill.

Action Requested:

The reasons we oppose these types of bills include:

1. Changing the compulsory attendance age would subject Illinois home educators to the requirements of the compulsory attendance law two years earlier. (You do not need to share this reason with your legislators.)

2. Many education experts have concluded that beginning a child's formal education too early may actually result in burnout and poor scholastic performance later.

3. In addition, 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.

4. Another significant impact of expanding the compulsory attendance age would be an inevitable tax increase to pay for more classroom space and more teachers to accommodate the additional students compelled to attend public schools under these proposed laws.

For more information on this type of bill and others, visit our website at

For a more detailed analysis of the issues involved in lowering the compulsory attendance law, read our memo at

 Other Resources

May-06-2005 — Illinois--Calls Still Needed to Defeat Compulsory Attendance Bill

Apr-28-2005 — Illinois--Your Calls Are Working

Apr-25-2005 — Illinois--Calls Needed to House Committee to Stop the Compulsory Attendance Bill

Apr-12-2005 — Illinois--Calls Needed to Senate Today to Stop the Compulsory Attendance Bill

Apr-08-2005 — Illinois--Calls Still Needed to Stop the Compulsory Attendance Bill

Apr-04-2005 — Illinois--Calls Needed - Senate Voting on Harmful Bill

Mar-18-2005 — Illinois--Harmful Bill Passes Committee

Mar-14-2005 — Illinois--More Calls Needed to Stop Expansion of Compulsory Attendance

Feb-23-2005 — Illinois--Calls Needed Now to Stop Expansion of Compulsory Attendance

Bill Text

Bill History