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Bill Would Raise Compulsory Attendance Age
Senate Bill 171 is a legislative proposal which would raise North Carolina’s compulsory school attendance age from 16 to 17, until the child graduates from high school. If enacted, this legislation would require homeschoolers to comply with the law for an additional year, including an additional year of standardized testing. Home School Legal Defense Association believes that Senate Bill 171 should be opposed, because it represents an expansion of the state’s control over education, particularly homeschooling.
There are other reasons to oppose this bill besides its effect on home education. Studies have shown that persons 16 years old who lack the self-motivation to continue in school receive little benefit from compulsory attendance and, in fact, have a negative influence on other students their age who are attending school voluntarily. Given the breakdown of discipline in the public schools, legislators should not impose any requirement of attendance on students over age 16 who do not wish to be there and who will further disrupt efforts of teachers to instruct those students who desire to learn. Also, additional teachers will have to be hired and school facilities built to accommodate the additional students, all at taxpayer expense.
HSLDA encourages home educators in North Carolina to contact their state senators and express their opposition to this legislation.
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