December 15, 2010

House Bill 4030: Raising the Age of Compulsory Attendance to 18 Years

Rep. Douglas Geiss

House Bill 4030 would increase the control of the state over your children for another two years. This bill would raise the age of compulsory attendance in Michigan from 16 to 18 years of age.

1/23/2009(House) Filed
1/22/2009(House) Referred to Committee on Education
1/22/2009(House) Read a first time
1/22/2009(House) Introduced by Representative Douglas Geiss
2/12/2009(House) Education Committee Meeting, 10:30 a.m.
2/17/2009(House) Reported with recommendation with substitute H-2
2/17/2009(House) Referred to second reading
3/4/2009(House) Read a second time
3/4/2009(House) Substitute H-2 adopted
3/4/2009(House) Placed on third reading
3/4/2009(House) Read a third time
3/4/2009(House) Passed; given immediate effect Roll Call No. 15; Yeas 71, Nays 37
3/4/2009(Senate) Transmitted
3/5/2009(Senate) Referred to Committee on Education
12/15/2010(House) Bill died when legislature adjourned

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

Action Requested:
None 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 school 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 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 issues library entry, Compulsory Attendance Age Legislation.

 Other Resources

E-lert—January 30, 2009—Michigan: Calls Needed to Stop Expansion of State Control Over Homeschoolers

E-lert—February 11, 2009—Michigan: Calls Still Needed to Stop Expansion of State Control Over Homeschoolers

E-lert—February 17, 2009—Michigan: Calls Still Needed to Stop Expansion of State Control Over Homeschoolers

Bill Text

Bill History