"I wish this bill was lowering the age to 3!"
So said Senator Kwame Raoul in 2005 when he presented his bill lowering compulsory attendance age to 5 from 7 here in Illinois. He's back again with a new bill:SB 541, referred to the Rules Committee 2 days ago on 2/8.
I wish all homeschoolers and parents and grandparents and taxpayers let Senator Raoul know that this bill is not necessary. That public school kids need to be served with better quality educational resources before they start looking past the compulsory attendance age of 7-17 years of age.
Ready or not? Should kids be in school at 5?: Kindergarten? Preschool? Parents wrestle with decision
Author: Maudlyne Ihejirika The Chicago Sun-Times Date: July 30, 2006
"Logically, it doesn’t even make sense to talk about preschool for all if we don’t say you have to have your kids in kindergarten," Raoul said.”
Slightly embarrassing is the fact that I found a letter I wrote in the Sun Times while looking for the article above. The Sun Times called and confirmed information, but I didn't notice before it was published. Here it is as the same holds true:
LETTERS TO THE EDITOR
Don't lower school age
Senate Bill 409 has been presented to the Illinois House's Elementary and Secondary Education Committee. It would lower the compulsory school attendance age from 7 to 5. It has only been four months since the compulsory attendance age rose to 17 from 16. Ironically, last Wednesday, when the discussion of SB 409 was postponed, there was an organized rally at the Capitol promoting more funding for adult education programs.
Adult education programs are important, particularly for young adults who were not successful during their compulsory attendance period. I strongly support the adult education classes and the dedication of their instructors. However, if the public schools were serving these very children well from ages 5 to 17, there would not be this tremendous need for adult education classes.
Sen. Kwame Raoul (D-Chicago) and others have ignored hundreds of calls and requests to withdraw this bill. One can immediately see the regard given to parents and constituents by legislators who rebuked them with the message, "I wish this bill lowered the compulsory attendance age down to 3."
Raoul's words should sound an alarm for those who wish to protect their parental rights. Illinois is leading the way with Big Brother programs since the passage of the Illinois Children's Mental Health Act and the establishment of social/emotional learning standards for the children of compulsory attendance age. Let us stop this invasion of our parental rights and children's lives. Please call the representatives in protest of SB 409.
From Judy Aron Interview with HEM SUPPORT GROUP NEWS – AUGUST 2006
Mental health screening is an issue for all, especially in light of the new NJ law that was passed mandating pregnant women be screened. Universal preschool will affect homeschoolers either by what will happen when compulsory school ages are lowered, to how much more you will end up paying in local and state taxes. Many of these issues are not merely homeschool issues, but “parental rights” and family issues.