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Calls Needed to Stop Second Compulsory Attendance Expansion Bill

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  • Julia Shields
    Calls Needed to Stop Second Compulsory Attendance Expansion Bill Dear Friends of ENOCH of NJ Thank you for responding to our last request for calls to prevent
    Message 1 of 1 , Feb 2, 2012
      Calls Needed to Stop Second Compulsory Attendance Expansion Bill

      Dear Friends of ENOCH of NJ

      Thank you for responding to our last request for calls to prevent an expansion of the compulsory school attendance age!

      However, new action is needed to counter the same threat in the Senate. Senate Bill 647 would raise the ending age for compulsory school attendance in New Jersey from the 16th to 18th birthday. A hearing before the Senate Education Committee is scheduled for this Monday, February 6 at 10:30 a.m.

      This bill would take away your freedom to decide whether school or some other path is best for your 16-year-old to follow. It would result in higher taxes as unwilling older students are forced to stay in schools.

      The bill's summary statement makes the sweeping declaration that "A child who stops attending school at age 16 is not prepared to function in our society." This kind of thinking ignores children who learn quickly, ignores parents who wish to educate or train their children in a non-school environment, and ignores the fact that keeping a child in school for two more years is no guarantee that the child will be prepared to function in society.

      Requested Action

      1. If you live in the district of one of the committee members listed below, please call them right away. Use the New Jersey Legislature website to find out who your state senator is. Even senators who you think already oppose the bill need to hear from you.

      2. Whether or not your senator is listed below, call the chair of the committee, Teresa Ruiz.

      Your message can be as simple as:

      "Please vote no on S647, which would raise the age of compulsory school attendance from 16 to 18. Parents, not state officials, know whether their 16-year-old young adult should pursue formal education or some other preparation for life responsibilities. The cost of forcing unwilling young adults into a formal school setting should not be added to our tax burden."

      3. This bill would undermine the freedom of all parents. It is not necessary for you to identify yourself as a homeschooler.

      4. Forward this email on to all of your friends, and ask them to call the committee members as well, if they live in their districts.

      Contact Information

      Ruiz, M. Teresa—Chair
      (973) 484-1000

      Turner, Shirley K.—Vice-Chair
      (609) 530-3277

      Allen, Diane B.
      (609) 239-2800

      Beach, James
      (856) 429-1572

      Doherty, Michael J.
      (908) 835-0552


      Although this bill exempts children who have graduated from high school, this exemption will not apply to homeschoolers.

      Not all 16- and 17-year-olds belong in a formal school setting. Some would be better off in a work training program or apprenticeship, obtaining valuable work experience. This decision belongs to parents, not state officials.

      Pushing unwilling older students into the classroom will disrupt the other students who truly want to learn. Since many 17-year-olds have the size and strength of adults, classrooms could become even more violent.

      Raising the compulsory school age does not help young people. Some of the states with the highest graduation rates have the lowest compulsory attendance cut-off age. Most states end compulsory attendance before age 18.

      Taxes would inevitably rise to pay for more classroom space and teachers. When California raised the upper age limit of compulsory attendance, taxpayers were forced to pay for the building of new schools just to handle the older, unwilling students and their behavior problems.

      For more information, please see HSLDA's Issues Library entry on compulsory attendance.

      Thank you for your calls on behalf of freedom in New Jersey.


      Richard Millward


      ENOCH of New Jersey

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