Oppose Mandatory Kindergarten – Write Governor Brown

JOINT LEGISLATIVE ACTION ALERT – August 17, 2015
From:  Roy Hanson — Family Protection Ministries and Mike Smith — HSLDA

Bill:  AB 713 (as recently amended) Mandatory Kindergarten
Author:  State Assembly Member Weber

Position:  Strongly OPPOSE

AB 713 passed the entire State Assembly on June 3rd. It must pass a vote of the whole State Senate before going to the Governor. Thank you for taking action on AB 713 to protect the rights of all parents.

Quickly pass this alert on to others who might respond and then take the suggested action below.

Summary of Concern:

Under current law, parents can choose to have their child skip Kindergarten and begin at the 1st grade.  AB 713 would eliminate this current parental choice by mandating that every child attend Kindergarten for one school year before they could be admitted to the first grade.  This would go into effect at the beginning of the 2017-2018 school year. AB 713 is an incremental step toward lowering the compulsory school age and expanding government control over children from birth to adulthood.

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Information Included In This E-mail:

A.  Action Item
B.  Opposition Points
C.  Background
D.  Summary

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A.  Action Item:

Write Governor Brown Now —

Please include the following or similarly worded statement in your letter:

 Pease veto AB 713.

“Last year your veto message of AB 1444, an almost identical bill that would have mandated Kindergarten, stated:

“Most children already attend Kindergarten, and those that don’t may be enrolled in other educational or developmental programs that are deemed more appropriate for them by their families. I would prefer to let parents determine what is best for their children, rather than mandate an entirely new grade level.”

“Please allow parents to continue to make decisions in the best interest of their children.”

You may also refer to the “Opposition Points” below for additional ideas that you could add to your letter.

Mail The Letter To:
      Governor Jerry Brown
      c/o State Capitol, Suite 1173
      Sacramento, CA 95814

 

Why are Letters Best?

Letters have proven to be the most effective method of communicating your opinion on a legislative bill. Many assume that an email is the most effective way to express your opinion, but this is not true. Because emails are easily and usually ignored, letters and calls are significantly more effective. Often there have not been enough letters being sent to make a large enough impact. It is considered that each letter represents the views of 1,000 or more voters within your district. Letters are the best method, even today, of making your opinion known at our state capitol.

 

Notes:

  • Always contact legislators as a parent and citizen.  This bill affects all families with children.
  • This is not an exclusively homeschool issue. Do not call or write as a homeschooler.
  • Do not disclose the source of this Alert. All bills are available on the Internet.
  • Pass this on to your friends, church, school, and group.
  • Pray for a proper outcome.

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B.  Opposition Points:

AB 713 would damage children.  Beginning formal education at age 5 or younger causes unintended harmful consequences to children, some of which last a lifetime.  Research* indicates that early formal childhood education not only causes both physical and behavioral long-term problems but that it also does not improve the child’s potential for being a better student later on.

Research http://www.childandfamilyprotection.org/Early-Childhood-Education-Research-Summaries.html demonstrates that:

Gains experienced by children who began their formal education at age 5 (or younger) disappear in just a few years. 

These same children, however, experience long-lasting adverse effects on their physical, behavioral, and educational development, including life-long vision impairment, and for many, detriments to mathematics and nonacademic readiness skills.

Boys are especially damaged by early entrance (age 5 and younger) into formal education. Boys’ cognitive and verbal skill development significantly lags behind that of girls at this age. As a result, boys do not do as well in the early years, at which time many experience failures leading to frustration, and for some, substance abuse and later criminal behavior.

For the sake of your own children, every parent should read “Early Childhood Education: Research Summaries of the Effects of Universal Kindergarten” Updated 2014 at http://www.childandfamilyprotection.org/Early-Childhood-Education-Research-Summaries.html.

AB 713 would diminish the parental rights of all parents.  Under AB 713, parents who choose to delay their child’s entrance into Kindergarten would be forced to undergo a time and financial penalty of adding a year of required schooling before graduation.  Enrollment into Kindergarten prior to the first grade must remain optional for parents.

AB 713 would decrease beneficial parental contact with their children.  An extra year of development outside of school can be critical for a child at this early age.  Carl Zinsmeister, Adjunct Research Associate at the American Enterprise Institute for Public Policy Research, says, “Declining parental attachment is an extremely serious risk to children today.  The verdict of enormous psychological literature is that time spent with the parent is the very clearest correlate of healthy child development.”  Parents should continue to have the authority to decide what is best for their children.

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C.  Background

Under AB 713, parents who would have chosen to delay their child’s entrance into formal education and skip Kindergarten, would be forced to choose between either:
(a) starting their child’s formal education one year earlier, before they feel it is best for their child, or
(b) graduating their child a year later than they would under current law.

This is because 13 years of schooling would be required under AB 713 rather than the current 12 years of schooling.

The requirements of AB 713 would apply to all pupils in both public schools and in private schools, including homeschools.

Advocates of extending government control of all children from birth would be able to use passage of AB 713 as an incremental step toward establishing seamless, cradle-to-grave government-controlled education and development programs for all children.

Passage of AB 713 would be followed by the next incremental legislative step — making institutionalized preschool (pre-Kindergarten) for every 3 and 4 year-old child universally available to all children and then the next step – making it universally mandatory for every 3 and 4 year-old child.

Summary:

*   Rushing children into formal education by effectively lowering the age at which children begin formal education by mandating Kindergarten would exact a heavy toll on the development of many children and would weaken the role of parents in their lives.  This is diametrically opposed to the message parents are routinely given, that parents need to be more involved in their children’s lives.  However, parents cannot be more involved when the state either encourages or requires children to be with their parents for less time.  Research supports later rather than earlier entry of children into institutionalized settings for educational development to be the most beneficial.

*   AB 713 encroaches on the fundamental right of parents to direct the upbringing and education of their children.  It ignores the long-standing presumption that parents act in the best interest of their children, by requiring parents to enroll their children in Kindergarten rather than allowing them the choice specified in current law.  It disregards the parent’s understanding of what would be the best course of action for his own child’s education and development.  It is a detrimental one-size-fits-all mandate that would be forced upon all children by the government.

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Permission given to forward this Action Alert unaltered to your friends, church, school, and group.

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This Action Alert was sent out by:

Roy Hanson and Nathan Pierce
Family Protection Ministries
PO Box 730
Lincoln, CA 95648

For information on how to contact your state assembly member and state senator, please visit: http://findyourrep.legislature.ca.gov

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