Illinois Is Messin With Homeschoolers, Again

HSLDA has issued another alert for Illinois homeschoolers. It seems the Illinois legislature just can’t let go of the autonomous, free and independent homeschooling citizens and is trying, yet again, another tactic to bring home education under state mandates and control. Legislation to raise compulsory school age is being considered and will likely see action in the coming days. The following alert has been issued by HSLDA.

From the HSLDA E-lert Service…

Illinois–Please Call Now to Oppose Compulsory School Age Increase

Dear HSLDA Members and Friends,
A bill that would place young people under compulsory education for an additional year is being heard in committee today in Springfield.
Compulsory age in Illinois ends at age 17 right now.  Rep. Jehan
Gordon’s HB 2985 would raise it to age 18.
The committee will probably vote on the bill within a few days.  They need to hear from you that making an additional year of a young person’s life subject to state mandate is not acceptable.
1. Please call your representative if he or she is a committee member
(see list below). Use our Legislative Toolbox at
to find out who your representative is.
Even representatives whom you think already oppose the bill need to hear from you.
2. If your representative is not on the committee, call the
chairperson, the vice chairperson and the minority spokesman (seebelow).
3. Your message can be as simple as:
“Please vote NO on HB 2985. Parents, not state officials, know whether their 17-year-old young adult should pursue formal education or some other preparation for life responsibilities. The additional cost of forcing unwilling young adults into a formal school setting should not be added to the current taxpayer burden.”
This bill would undermine the freedom of all parents.  It is not
necessary for you to identify yourself as a homeschooler.
Elementary & Secondary Education Committee Members:
Chairperson : Linda Chapa LaVia
(217) 558-1002
Vice-Chairperson : Fred Crespo
(217) 782-0347
Minority Spokesperson : Jerry L. Mitchell
(217) 782-0535
Member: John D. Cavaletto
(217) 782-0066
Member: Marlow H. Colvin
(217) 782-8272
Member: Monique D. Davis
(217) 782-0010
Member: Lisa M. Dugan
(217) 782-5981
Member: Kenneth Dunkin
(217) 782-4535
Member: Roger L. Eddy
(217) 558-1040
Member: Keith Farnham
(217) 782-8020
Member: Esther Golar
(217) 782-5971
Member: Jehan A. Gordon
(217) 782-3186
Member: Camille Y Lilly
(217) 782-6400
Member: Rita Mayfield
(217) 558-1012
Member: Bill Mitchell
(217) 782-8163
Member: Donald L. Moffitt
(217) 782-8032
Member: Thomas Morrison
(217) 782-8026
Member: Harry Osterman
(217) 782-8088
Member: Sandra M. Pihos
(217) 782-8037
Member: Robert W. Pritchard
(217) 782-0425
Member: David Reis
(217) 782-2087
Member: Pam Roth
(217) 782-5997
Member: Darlene J. Senger
(217) 782-6507
Member: Karen A. Yarbrough
(217) 782-8120
Not all 17-year-olds belong in a formal school setting.  Some would be better off in a work training program, apprenticeship, obtaining valuable work experience, etc.  This decision belongs to parents, not state officials.
Pushing unwilling older students into the classroom will disrupt the other students who truly want to learn. Since many 17-year-olds have the size and strength of adults, classrooms could become even more violent.
Raising the compulsory age does not help young people.  Some of the states with the highest graduation rates have the lowest compulsory attendance cut-off age. Most states have a compulsory attendance cut-off age of 16 or less.
Illinois already has a higher age (17) than most. Taxes would inevitably rise to pay for more classroom space and teachers. When California raised the upper age limit of compulsory attendance, taxpayers were forced to pay for the building of new schools just to handle the older, unwilling students and their behavior problems.
For more information on compulsory attendance, please see our
Thank you for your calls on behalf of freedom in Illinois.
Scott Woodruff
HSLDA Senior Counsel

Missouri needs to monitor the actions of Illinois very carefully. Compulsory school age bills are a hallmark of Race To The Top, and Missouri has several of these bills up for consideration in this legislative session. While none of these bills are set on the calendar to be heard/debated as of this posting, that doesn’t mean it can’t happen before the end of the legislative session. It is also possible any of these bills could be hidden in an omnibus bill at the end of the legislative session. Please continue to monitor the progress of these pieces of legislation.

HB179Raises the compulsory school attendance age to 18 in all school districts unless the student has successfully completed 16 credits towards high school graduation

HB752Changes the laws regarding the compulsory school attendance of certain students

HB835Requires children in the St. Louis City School District to attend school at age five

SB20Modifies the compulsory attendance age for the St. Louis City School District so that students must attend school from five years of age to eighteen years of age

SB21Requires kindergarten attendance at the start of the school year for children who turn age five at any time during the calendar year

SB124 Requires children in the St. Louis City School District to attend school at age five



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