Positive legislation for home education which protects parental rights has been introduced and sent to the Pennsylvania House Education Committee. If passed and enacted, it will end one of the confusing problems faced by homeschoolers who have children who attended public or cyber school before turning 8 years old.
Dewitt Black of HSLDA says, "This bill would change the definition of 'compulsory school age' so that a child placed in kindergarten in public school would not be subject to the compulsory attendance law. If this child were to be removed from the public school, while in kindergarten, the parents would not be required to comply with the home education law until the child turned 8."
Representative Will Tallman, elected official for parts of Adams and Cumberland Counties, stated in his memorandum on April 14, 2015 that:
It has become necessary because of the recent Supreme Court Decision Commonwealth vs. Kerstetter, to put into even more plain English that even judges can read, that compulsory school age does not start until age 8.
It has always been interpreted by both the Pennsylvania Department of Education and lower courts that compulsory school age started at age 8. The general public always assumed that the compulsory age began at age 8.
I also believe that this decision will have a direct impact on parental rights. I believe most parents will know the appropriate age for their child to start school. It will not be the same for every child.
Please join me in co-sponsoring this bill that protects parental rights and establishes for certainty, and has been practiced throughout the Commonwealth, that the compulsory school age starts at age 8.
If you have any questions regarding this legislation please contact Carol Hoffman at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at(717) 783-8875."
1) Call your local State Representative and ask him/her to sign on as co-sponsor of HB1156.
If you don't know who your elected official is, enter your address on this site and find out.
If s/he is not in the Ed Com, s/he may say that it has to pass Ed Com first. If this happens, explain that as his/her constituent, it is important to you that s/he supports this and state your personal reason in a concise manner.
2) Call the House Education Committee asking them to support HB1156. Start with the majority party members and ask Ed Com Chair, Rep. Stan Saylor, to put this bill on the agenda.
3) Share this information with all homeschoolers and advocates of home education and parental rights, asking them to take the same action steps.
4) Keep watching for updates and let's work together to make this a state statute.
You may read the text of House Bill 1156 here.
The following are great articles from HSLDA on why we need to pass HB1156 as it relates to lowering the compulsory school attendance: