Thursday, April 16, 2015


Hyperlinked to help you find the information quickly

HB 754 - This bill would lower compulsory attendance age from 8 to 6. It would also require all school districts to establish all-day kindergartens for children between the ages of 3 and 5 years old, although attendance is not mandatory at this time.

HB 832 - This bill would lower the compulsory attendance age from 8 to 6. It would also require all school districts to establish kindergartens for children at ages to be determined by the local school board, though attendance would not be mandatory at this time.

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Reasons why lowering compulsory ages and more pre-school are not beneficial for Pennsylvania.   
Opposition to HB754 and HB832

·         There are no real educational benefits for young children attending preschool or head start programs. According to a comprehensive study (released October 2012) by the Department of Health and Human Services, they found that “ from the beginning of Head Start through 3rd grade, the evidence is clear that access to Head Start … had few impacts on children in kindergarten through 3rd grade.” 1

·         These types of bills will cost taxpayers millions if not billions of dollars with little to show for it. The call for whole day pre-kindergarten for 3-5 year olds, will require schools to hire new teachers as well as provide additional facilities. A national study concerning early education pilot programs discovered that fourth grade reading achievement scores in Oklahoma have declined. Georgia’s program was in place for 13 years before scores caught up to the national average. The Heritage Foundation determined that despite high state spending, “neither state has experienced significant, sustained improvement in students’ academic achievement as measured by the National Assessment of Educational Progress.” 2

·         These types of bills violate parental rights to direct their own children’s education. This right is guaranteed by the 14th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. The notion that parents are not adequate teachers and mentors for their children is empirically untrue. As found in a large study in the United Kingdom, children who are raised (especially at early ages) in their own homes by their own mothers and fathers fare significantly better developmentally than those placed in institutional environments at an early age.3

·         Young children are harmed and not developmentally ready for school. Boys tend to be two years behind in listening, speaking, and writing skills than girls. Children enrolled in day care are more likely to exhibit problematic behaviors, such as bullying and aggression, for several years afterwards.5  Long term vision problems from too much close visual work is another problem. Children do poorly, loose interest, and become discouraged by programs that push academics over physical activities.6  Youngsters need time at home to bond and interact with those closest to them to develop the trust, brain development, 4  and the social skills that they need to become healthy individual members of society.

1. Michael Puma Et Al., Office Of Planning, Research, & Evaluation, Third Grade Follow-Up To The Head Start Impact Study Final Report: Executive Summary iv-v (2012) available at
2. Lindsay M. Bure, The Heritage Foundation, “Does Universal Preschool Improve Learning? Lessons from Georgia and Oklahoma 1” (2009), available at
3. Yvonne Roberts, “Official: Babies do Best with Mother,” The Guardian: Observer, October 2, 2005,
4. Dr. Karyn Purvis is the Director of the Institute of Child Development at Texas Christian University (TCU) in Fort Worth, Texas.
5.  “Early Child Care Linked to Increases in Vocabulary, Some Problem Behaviors in Fifth and Sixth Grades.” National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD). NIH News. 26 March 2007.
Much of this information can be found on the Home School Legal Defense Association website:

Compiled by Mark Moore, CHAP Legislative Coordinator

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