Calls Needed Today to Oppose Lowering Compulsory School Attendance Age from 7 to 6
Dear HSLDA Members and Friends:
A bill in the Illinois House of Representatives that would lower the starting age for compulsory school age from 7 to 6 and repeal the graduation exemption will have its first hearing tomorrow at 8:30 a.m. Please call today to oppose the bill! (This is a different bill than the bill in the Senate, SB 1307.)
HB 2762 would force children to start formal schooling a full year younger than under current law. One size does not fit all. Parents know best whether each individual child should start school at 6 or 7.
Under current law, once a child graduates, he is exempt from compulsory attendance. But HB 2762 creates the crazy situation where a bright 16-year-old might graduate from high school, but still be required to attend school!
Please call today! Use our Legislative Toolbox to find who your Illinois state representative is. (You will only be able to find your state senator if you enter your Zip code). If he or she is listed below as a member of the House Elementary and Secondary Education Committee, please call before 8:30 a.m. tomorrow.
Please call the committee chairman and vice chair even if your representative is not listed below.
Your message can be as simple as: "Please vote 'no' on HB 2762. It would lower the age of compulsory school attendance from 7 to 6 and make some young adults attend school even after high school graduation. Parents, not the government, know when it's best for their young child to start formal education. Taxes will go up for everyone to pay for it."
It is not necessary to identify yourself as a homeschooler since this would affect every Illinois parent.
Please forward this email to every family you know who is not a member of HSLDA.
CONTACT INFORMATION--The committee members are:
Linda Chapa LaVia, Chairperson; (217) 558-1002
Fred Crespo, Vice-Chairperson; (217) 782-0347
Sandra M. Pihos, Republican Spokesperson; (217) 782-8037
Monique D. Davis; (217) 782-0010
Kenneth Dunkin; (217) 782-4535
Marcus C. Evans, Jr.; (217) 782-8272
Esther Golar ; (217) 782-5971
Camille Y. Lilly; (217) 782-6400
Bill Mitchell; (217) 782-8163
Donald L. Moffitt; (217) 782-8032
Pam Roth; (217) 782-5997
Barbara Wheeler; (217) 782-1664
HSLDA and the Illinois Christian Home Educators are united in opposing this bill.
Forcing children to attend school at age 6 is a bad idea because:
1. There are no long-term repeatable studies proving that starting school at age 6 rather than 7 is better for the child. Studies show that early childhood education does not improve a child's future because early gains disappear in a few years. This is especially significant for boys, because they develop school-related skills more slowly than girls at this age.
2. It decreases beneficial parent contact with children. Extra years of development outside of school can be critical for a young child. Carl Zinsmeister, adjunct research associate at the American Enterprise Institute for Public Policy Research, says, "Declining parental attachment is an extremely serious risk to children today. The verdict of enormous psychological literature is that time spent with the parent is the very clearest correlate of healthy child development." Parents should continue to have the authority to decide what is best for their children.
3. The concept behind the bill is faulty. While it is true that young children's brains develop rapidly, there is no reliable research that says that formal education is better than a normal home environment for helping the child grow intellectually. Many studies show just the opposite: that a home where contact with parents is maximized is the healthiest way for young children to grow mentally, emotionally and socially.
4. HB 2762 would be costly. It will put pressure on lawmakers to raise your taxes to pay for formal education parents don't want. It will put pressure on school systems to borrow to build new buildings, effectively transferring debt to the next generation.
Some bright young people can finish their secondary education before age 17. They should be allowed to move on with their lives. It's bad policy to put young adults who have graduated from high school under any form of continuing mandate for schooling.
Thank you for standing with us for freedom!
Scott A. Woodruff, Esq.,
Home School Legal Defense Association
P.S. We greatly value you and your support--it is a privilege to serve you! If you or someone you know is not a member of HSLDA, will you consider taking a moment today to join or recommend us? Your support enables us to defend individual families and protect homeschooling freedom for all. Join now!