Oppose Mandatory Kindergarten – Write Your Senator

JOINT LEGISLATIVE ACTION ALERT August 10, 2016
From: Roy Hanson — Family Protection Ministries and Mike Smith — HSLDA

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

Position: Strongly OPPOSE

Status: AB 713 passed the entire State Assembly on June 3rd 2015. It is in the second Senate committee where it is being held indefinitely unless called up for a special vote. If it passes out of committee, it would be voted on by the whole State Senate before going to the Governor.

AB 713 is one of the dangerous incremental steps toward lowering the compulsory school age and expanding government control over all children from birth to adulthood, gradually reducing the role of parents to that of caretakers.

Your letter to your State Senator opposing AB 713 is very important — we need as many no votes as possible in the Senate to help influence the Governor to veto AB 713, as it will likely pass the Senate if it comes up for a vote.

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

We are monitoring AB 713 daily and Nathan Pierce of Family Protection Ministries has visited legislators and is attending every hearing regarding this bill.

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.

Action Item:

WRITE A BRIEF LETTER to the member of the California State Senate who represents your district, asking them to oppose AB 713 and any similar bills in the future.

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 your letter represents the views of more than 1,000 voters within your district.

Thank you in advance for taking this crucial action on AB 713 to protect the rights of all parents.

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 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.

Using the suggested format below, ask your Senator to vote no on AB 713. Even though not necessary, you may use some of the “Opposition Points to Share with Legislators” below for additional points that you could include. Please mail your letter, as emails are commonly ignored. (Be sure to include your full address and print or type your first name and last name below your signature.)

Here is a link to find out which State Senator represents your district
http://findyourrep.legislature.ca.gov/

For your letter in the Action Item above, please use the following format:

The Honorable (their first & last name)
Senate
State Capitol
Sacramento, CA 95814

Dear Senator (their last name),

Please vote no on AB 713 (by Weber). I oppose mandatory Kindergarten, which effectively lowers the compulsory attendance age to 5. Please also oppose any future bills that mandate Kindergarten.

Thank you.

Sincerely,

(Your signature)
(Your first and last name typed or printed)
(Your full address)

***** ***** ***** *****
Other Information Included In This E-mail:

A. Opposition Points
B. Background
C. Summary
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A. 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.

*We strongly urge you to read “Early Childhood Education: Research Summaries of the Effects of Universal Kindergarten.” http://www.childandfamilyprotection.org/Early-Childhood-Education-Research-Summaries.html. This research 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 an increased difficulty getting along with others, 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.

AB 713 would diminish the parental rights of all parents. Under AB 713, parents who choose to delay their child’s entrance into formal education by skipping 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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B. 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.

C. Summary:

Research supports later rather than earlier entry of children into structured educational programs to be the most beneficial.

AB 713 is an attack upon 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.

***** ***** ***** *****

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

***** ***** ***** *****

This Action Alert was sent out by:

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

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