Just wanted to give everyone a head's up on this new bill introduced into the Texas legislature that may affect homeschool kids. If you live in Texas, won't you take a few moments to pick your phone up and call this senator's office (I did). Let them know that it should be up to the parent to decide when the child is ready to start Kindergarten.
Here's the update from HSLDA:
Dear Texas members and friends,
As in last session, a bill has been introduced in the Texas legislature which would increase the control that government has over children by mandating that children must begin school when they are only 5 years old. If passed, Senate Bill 52 would lower the compulsory attendance age from 6 years to 5 years. This would mean that all children, including homeschoolers, would be subject to the authority of truant officers one more year.
We hope your calls will cause the sponsor to NOT bring this bill up for a vote.
Please call the sponsor of the bill, Sen. Judith Zaffirini, (512) 463-0121, and give her this message:
"Please abandon your efforts to lower the age of compulsory school attendance in Senate Bill 52. It forces children to school before they are ready and takes the important decision of when each child is ready for school away from the parents, who best know their child's needs."
You do not need to identify that you homeschool.
Reasons For Opposing Lower Compulsory Attendance Age:
> 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 from 6 to 5 would subject Texas home educators to the requirements of the homeschool statute one year earlier. (You do not need to share this reason with your legislators.)
> 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.
> 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 increased 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 memorandum.
Christopher J. Klicka, Esq.
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