Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Compulsory Education to age 18 in committee Tuesday

Education ALERT 

House Education Committee moving legislation today. The House Education Committee is scheduled to move HB4042, to make attendance compulsory up to age 18. Below is a message from Dennis Smith, Information Network of Christian Homes (INCH).
The MI House Education Committee has scheduled a hearing on HB4042, the bill to increase the compulsory attendance age to 18, during their committee meeting at 10:30a.m., January, 29, in 519 House Office Building, Lansing, MI.

You may recall that Governor Granholm also strongly supported this effort in her State of the State address last year. As a review of why we are opposed to raising the compulsory attendance age, go here (http://inch.org/issues/dropout_response.php) to view my response to this question from Pastor Don Jabaay in the Political Issues section
of www.inch.org.

We managed to avert this issue when the bill was introduced nearly a year ago by mounting a huge email and call-in campaign to House and Senate co-sponsors of the bill and follow-up contacts to everyone's own individual Representative and Senator. It is now the strong recommendation of the Home School Legislative Action Committee, an alliance of HSLDA, INCH, CTV, Support Group Leaders and friends in the Legislature, that we initiate a massive phone and email blitz to all members of the House Education Committee so they know there is a huge groundswell of opposition to this bill.
Our Plan of Attack

1. After you've read it, forward this email or the one you may receive from HSLDA, to as many of your Michigan home school contacts as you can. Do not forward this email directly to any legislator. It's not a problem if we all happen to get several copies of it. That just means we're well connected.

2. Send an email to all the House Education Committee members  expressing the reasons why you oppose this bill. I have included bullet points below to help you frame your opposition, but your words should be your own.
3. January 29 we need to flood the offices of all the committee members with phone calls. Respectfully voice your concerns with changing the compulsory attendance ages based on the talking points provided below. Ask them to oppose this bill in committee and to remove it from further consideration. They may quickly set their phones to go directly to voice mail. That's OK. Leave your message anyway. If you do get to speak to someone in their office, they may tell you to call your own Rep.'s office. Tell them you are calling this Rep. because he or she is a member of the Education Committee and that they should expect to receive calls from across the state on education issues that come before the committee. Since you may not be able to call every member of the committee, randomize who you call from the list below. That way all the committee members should receive lots of calls, not just the top ones on the list. Additionally, it would be a great idea for many, who can take the
time, to attend the hearing and voice your disapproval in person. In this situation it would again be important to not identify yourself as a concerned citizen or concerned tax-payer.
Why We Oppose Increasing Compulsory Attendance to Age 18

--It is no guarantee that kids will stay in school and graduate as Governor Granholm suggests. Increasing the compulsory attendance age will not reduce the dropout rate. In fact, the two states with the best high school completion rates, Maryland at 94.5% and North Dakota at 94.7%, compel attendance only to age 16. The state with the lowest completion rate (Oregon: 75.4%) compels attendance to age 18. (Figures are three-year averages, 1996 through 1998.)

--It does nothing to address the problem of kids between the ages of 12 and 16 who are already habitual truants. We already have laws on the books that aren't being enforced.
--There will be massive enforcement problems differentiating between kids who have a legitimate reason for not being in school and those who don't. Such reasons include in-service days varying from district to district, part time students, home school students; those expelled either temporarily or permanently, etc. It is a disservice to teachers and students who want to learn to force children who may be disruptive, delinquent or dangerous to keep in school if they don't want to be there.
--The cost to employee additional teachers and create additional "alternative" schools to keep delinquent kids separated from regular students will be massive. With a 3 billion dollar deficit looming over Michigan, we can ill afford to force kids who don't want to learn to remain in what will be viewed as a "kiddy prison".
Contact information for House Education Committee Members:
District - Name - Party - Location - Phone - E-mail
55 - Angerer, Kathy - D - S 989 HOB - 517-373-1792 - kathyangerer@house.mi.gov
84 - Brown, Terry - D - S 1188 HOB - 517-373-0476 - terrybrown@house.mi.gov
67 - Byrum, Barb - D - S 1086 HOB - 517-373-0587 - barbbyrum@house.mi.gov
34 - Clack, Brenda - D - N 798 HOB - 517-373-8808 - brendaclack@house.mi.gov
20 - Corriveau, Marc - D - N 699 HOB - 517-373-3816 - marccorriveau@house.mi.gov
75 - Dean, Robert - D - N 1094 HOB - 517-373-2668 - robertdean@house.mi.gov
22 - Hopgood, Hoon-Yung - D - S 786 HOB - 517-373-0852 -hoonyunghopgood@house.mi.gov
109 - Lindberg, Steven - D - S 1488 HOB - 517-373-0498 - stevenlindberg@house.mi.gov
27 - Meisner, Andy - D - N 791 HOB - 517-373-0478 - andymeisner@house.mi.gov
29 - Melton, Tim - D - N 793 HOB - 517-373-0475 - timmelton@house.mi.gov
31 - Miller, Fred - D - N 795 HOB - 517-373-0159 - fredmiller@house.mi.gov
15 - Polidori, Gino - D - N 694 HOB - 517-373-0847 - ginopolidori@house.mi.gov
3 - Scott, Bettie Cook - D - S 587 HOB - 517-373-1776 - bettiecookscott@house.mi.gov
91 - Valentine, Mary - D - N 1195 HOB - 517-373-3436 - maryvalentine@house.mi.gov
70 - Emmons, Judy - R - S 1089 HOB - 517-373-0834 - judyemmons@house.mi.gov
86 - Hildenbrand, Dave - R - N 1190 HOB - 517-373-0846 - rephildenbrand@house.mi.gov
61 - Hoogendyk, Jacob - R - N 995 HOB - 517-373-1774 - jackhoogendyk@house.mi.gov
41 - Knollenberg, Marty - R - N 890 HOB - 517-373-1783 - martyknollenberg@house.mi.gov
98 - Moolenaar, John - R - S 1287 HOB - 517-373-1791 - johnmoolenaar@house.mi.gov
93 - Opsommer, Paul - R - N 1197 HOB - 517-373-1778 - paulopsommer@house.mi.gov
73 - Pearce, Tom - R - N 1092 HOB - 517-373-0218 - tompearce@house.mi.gov
80 - Schuitmaker, Tonya - R - N 1099 HOB - 517-373-0839 - tonyaschuitmaker@house.mi.gov
72 - Steil Jr., Glenn - R - N 1091 HOB - 517-373-0840 - glennsteil@house.mi.gov
2 - Lemmons Jr., Lamar - D - S 0586 HOB - 517-373-0106 - lamarlemmonsjr@house.mi.gov
Sincerely, Dennis Smith, INCH

Regards, Jack Hoogendyk

P.S. I will be blogging from the House floor Tuesday night during the State of the State speech. Get online at www.jackformichigan.org/core and get minute-by-minute analysis and commentary.

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