Below is a summary of the Bill from HSLDA - Legal watch dog group for homeschoolers. Please take the time and call or email each person in our state government listed toward the end of the email.
Senate Bill 182 Lowers Compulsory Attendance Age from 7 to 5 years old
Sponsors: Senators Smith, Woodhouse, Denis, Jones, Ford, Atkinson, Kihuen, Manendo, Parks, Segerblom and Spearman
SB 182 will LOWER the compulsory attendance age for entry into school from 7 to 5 years of age. This requirement will apply to all children, whether their parents planned to send them to public school or private school or homeschool.
Hearing, Senate Education and Assembly Education CommitteesFebruary 25, 2013 at 3:30 p.m.
1. Please call or email each member of the Senate Education and Assembly Education Committees before Monday, February 25th, at 3:30 p.m. and give them this message in your own words:
"Please vote against Senate Bill 182 which lowers the compulsory attendance age from 7 to 5 for all children in Nevada. Parents should have the right to make the decision when a child is ready to attend school. The current age of 7 gives parents that opportunity. Many children are simply not ready at 5. However, for those who wish their child to attend school the opportunity to do so already exists under current Nevada law. Please vote against SB 182."
When contacting the committee members, it is not necessary to identify yourself as a homeschooler as this would affect every parent, although many children are already in school at age 5. This issue is broader than homeschooling; this is a parental rights issue.
2. Please forward this email to every family you know who is not a member of HSLDA or not receiving our emails and urge them to contact the Senate and Assembly education committee members with the same message.
3. Please plan to attend the hearing if possible on Monday, February 25th at 3:30 p.m. in Carson City (Room 1214, State Legislature Building, 401 S. Carson St, Carson City) OR in Las Vegas (Room 4401, Grant Sawyer Office Building, 555 E. Washington Ave., Las Vegas). Nevada Homeschool Network Officers will be in attendance and testifying against the bill. You are welcome to testify as well or simply sign in and vote "no on SB182." Your presence at the hearing is critical to the outcome of this bill.
The Senate Education and Assembly Education Committee members are:
Joyce WoodhouseSenate Chair
Aaron D. FordVice Chair
Ruben J. Kihuen
Barbara K. Cegavske
Elliot T. AndersonAssembly Chair
Marilyn Dondero LoopVice Chair
Lesley E. Cohen
Harvey J. Munford
Lynn D. Stewart
We recognize this may require some time to contact all these officials, but due to the urgency of this issue, it is critical that all of the above are contacted by you.
SB 182 will lower the compulsory attendance age for entry into school from 7 to 5 years of age. This requirement will apply to all children, whether their parents planned to send them to public school or private school or homeschool.
By amending Nevada Revised Statutes § 392.040 to lower mandatory attendance from 7 to 5 years of age, all children, including homeschooled children, would have to start school at age 5. In other words, homeschoolers would have to file their notice of intent at age 5.
Requiring children to attend school at age 5 is a very bad idea for the following reasons:
1. SB 182 forces children into school too soon. There are no long-term replicable studies proving that mandating attendance at age 5 rather than 7 is better for the educational development of the child. To the contrary, there is much research indicating that early childhood education does not improve the child's potential for being a better student in the future, because early gains disappear in a few of years. This is especially significant for boys, because their cognitive and verbal skill development generally lags behind that of girls at this age.
2. SB 182 is not necessary. Parents who desire to enroll their children at age 5 in Nevada can choose to do so already. To force parents to start children in school at the age of 5 interferes with their fundamental right to direct the education of their children and to make wise choice regarding the readiness for their children for education. Many children are simply not ready for school at 5 years old.
3. SB 182 decreases beneficial parental contact with their children. An extra year of development outside of school can be critical for a child at this early age. 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.
4. SB 182 is based on faulty information. This attempt to bring children into formal education programs at a younger age is based on an erroneous assumption. Arthur Jensen, a learning psychologist, wrote in the Harvard Educational Review in 1969 that Benjamin Bloom's conclusion that people develop 50% of their mature intelligence by the age of 4 is a statistically unwarranted conclusion. In 1970, Nancy Bayley, a University of California child psychologist whose data Bloom used, pointed out that Bloom's theory was wrong because it was based on an inadequate definition of intelligence. In spite of statements to the contrary, there is no solid evidence that early education brings any lasting or permanent educational benefit to a child. The conclusions being drawn based on recent studies of child's brain development are similar to the above faulty conclusions. The fact that a young child's brain develops rapidly does not warrant the faulty conclusion that more institutionalized and peer-dominated settings improve the child's mental, emotional, and social development. There are studies that have demonstrated the opposite.
5. SB 182 would have an adverse financial impact on all Nevadans. This increase in the kindergarten population will increase the financial burden on the state's ability to fund its public education programs. This will result in the need to increase state education revenues. Increases in education revenues come either as direct increases in taxes from citizens; approving and selling bonds, which moves the tax burden to future generations; or transferring funds from another part of the State budget.
J. Michael Smith
P.S. We are so grateful for you and your supportit is our 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 for our work enables us to defend individual families threatened by government officials and protect homeschooling freedom for all. Join now >>