Now is the time.
This is the week.
Please read and act.
On December 13th, 2021, SB 5537, reducing the compulsory attendance age from 8 to 5 was pre-filed for the regular session in the Senate.
You can read the bill here: https://lawfilesext.leg.wa.gov/…/Senate…/5537.pdf…
On Friday, January 14th, at 8am, it is scheduled for public hearing in the Senate Committee on Early Learning & K-12 Education at 8:00 AM in anticipation of other legislative action.
The bill’s preamble explains that “The legislature also finds that a majority of states require school attendance beginning with
children who are five or six years of age. Washington is the only state that requires school attendance beginning with children who are eight years of age. Therefore, the legislature intends to amend the compulsory attendance laws to ensure that every child residing in Washington receives an education beginning by five years of age.”
I don’t know about you, but, “Because everyone else is doing it,” is not a compelling argument. The last time the state tried to make this change, the fiscal note was $0.00, meaning that the state knew that every 5, 6, and 7yo who was going to school was ALREADY THERE, which means the only folks actually impacted by this change are those of us who choose to homeschool and to follow the science available on the effects of early formal instruction, which not only demonstrates that any positive effect wears off in a few short years, but that there are negative effects stretching out for decades that result from early formal instruction.
The compulsory attendance age of 8 merely allows families who wish to follow the increasing body of scientific data that shows that delaying formal instruction results in better academic, mental, and physical health outcomes to continue to make that choice.
* * * *
1) Comment on SB 5537 here:
2) Send an Email to your elected officials:
3) Send an email to the members of the Education Committee:
4) Consider Testifying, virtually or on campus:
If delaying formal instruction was net-positive for your child9ren), this is a great place to express that.
5) If you are unable to testify, consider Stating your Position on SB 5537 without testifying:
6) Submit Written Testimony:
7) Send this to 10 (or more) of your friends, and ask them to do the same this week.
With sufficient support, we can kill this bill while it’s still in committee, as every homeschool group before us has done when our law has been challenged. There are 23,478 of us here. That’s a formidable opposition to this change in the homeschool law.
Please stand with WHO against this change to our law by taking at least one of the above actions, plus enlisting those you know to do so as well. Working together, we can preserve the freedoms we’ve long enjoyed under the HBI law.
~Jen Garrison Stuber