AB 186; Compulsory Attendance Age Change, Mandatory K, and Prekindergarten

April 14, 2017 – Assembly Education Committee votes “Do Pass” of an amended AB 186.  Two Republican Assemblywoman, Melissa Woodbury and Jill Tolles voted “for” the amended bill but reserved the right to change their vote to “no” on the assembly floor because they still have concerns with the Age 6 compulsory attendance age change (this up from age 5 in the original bill, the current age is 7).  NHN believes that there is no compelling evidence to suggest the current age of 7 needs to be change or that anyone will be benefited by the change.  Indeed, parents will be more burdened by lowering the compulsory attendance age if their children are simply not ready for school.

If you live District 24 – Clark County (Woodbury) or District 25 – Washoe County (Tolles) please contact them and ask them to vote NO on AB 186 since you are their constituents.  Contact info for Assemblywoman Woodbury; https://www.leg.state.nv.us/App/Legislator/A/Assembly/Current/23

Assemblywoman Tolles: https://www.leg.state.nv.us/App/Legislator/A/Assembly/Current/25

Results of the Education Committee Vote on AB 186 –A message from Mike Smith
Dear HSLDA Members and Friends:

Assembly Bill 186 was voted out of the Assembly Education Committee this afternoon. The author of the bill amended it to change the compulsory education age from 5 to 6.

However, we will not change our position on the bill—at age 6 children are still too young to be forced to start formal education. There’s no justification for changing the current compulsory age of 7.

It appears that the bill will now go to the Assembly Committee on Ways and Means—the money committee. When and if this happens, we will  let you know so we can mount further opposition to AB 186.

For those of you who contacted the Education Committee, voicing your concerns, we are very grateful. We will be asking you to contact your legislators again. Do not despair; perseverance in the face of adversity is the key to maintaining our freedom.

Sincerely,

Mike Smith,

HSLDA President

April 13, 2017 – Update!  Action Needed

The Assembly Education Committee has scheduled AB 186 for a Work Session and VOTE tomorrow, April 14th. We don’t know the time of the hearing, it will be held “at the call of the Chairman.”

Please EMAIL all Committee Members tonight or tomorrow morning with “Vote NO on AB186” in the subject line. This will make it easy to copy and paste into an email: Tyrone.Thompson@asm.state.nv.us, Amber.Joiner@asm.state.nv.us, Elliot.Anderson@asm.state.nv.us, Olivia.Diaz@asm.state.nv.us, Edgar.Flores@asm.state.nv.us, Ozzie.Fumo@asm.state.nv.us, William.McCurdy@asm.state.nv.us, Brittney.Miller@asm.state.nv.us, Heidi.Swank@asm.state.nv.us, Chris.Edwards@asm.state.nv.us, Lisa.Krasner@asm.state.nv.us, Keith.Pickard@asm.state.nv.us, Jill.Tolles@asm.state.nv.us, Melissa.Woodbury@asm.state.nv.us

Bill: AB 186 (by Diaz)—lowers compulsory school attendance age from 7 to 5, makes kindergarten mandatory at age 5 and requires all school districts to provide prekindergarten for 4 year-olds in every public elementary school.

This bill 

  • Denies parents the right to decide if their children are ready for school at age 5 or 6 and puts that decision in the hands of the state.  
  • Mandates that ALL children attend Kindergarten 
  • Mandates that all public school provide PreKindergarten (4 year-olds) – where does that money come from?  Raising taxes again?

Position: Strongly oppose

Assembly Education Committee Members office phone numbers:

Tyrone Thompson – Chair Office Phone: 775-684-8569
Amber Joiner – Vice Chair Office Phone: 775-684-8559
Elliot T. Anderson Office Phone: 775-684-8835
Olivia Diaz Office Phone: 775-684-8553
Edgar Flores Office Phone: 775-684-8583
Ozzie Fumo Office Phone: 775-684-8839
William McCurdy II Office Phone: 775-684-8545
Brittney Miller Office Phone: 775-684-8833
Heidi Swank Office Phone: 775-684-8595
Chris Edwards Office Phone: 775-684-8857
Lisa Krasner Office Phone: 775-684-8848
Keith Pickard Office Phone: 775-684-8823
Jill Tolles Office Phone: 775-684-8837
Melissa Woodbury Office Phone: 775-684-8503

Assembly Fax number for all: 1-775-684-8533

________________________________________________________

March 22, 2017 – UPDATE

BEST video news report on the hearing on AB 186 from KOLO-News Now; http://www.kolotv.com/content/news/Mandatory-kindergarten-debate-heats-up-416901673.html
This reporter really captured the essence of why we oppose AB 186 and mandatory Kindergarten.

And from the Las Vegas Review-Journal:  “Lowering the compulsory age drew the most criticism, including from the Nevada Homeschool Network.

“Our basic premise is that parents need to be the one who decides when their children enter school,” said Elissa Wahl, the organization’s chairwoman. “The biggest sticking point is that this is not voluntary.””
http://www.reviewjournal.com/…/nevada-students-may-be-manda…

Click here to read NHN’s Letter to the NV Assembly Education Committee – 03.21.17 OPPOSING AB 186 as written.

Click hear to read Home School Legal Defense Association’s positon on AB 186.

Video of the actual hearing:  http://nvleg.granicus.com/MediaPlayer.php?clip_id=7292  AB 186 was the last bill to be heard and starts at the 1 hour, 26 minute marker.

THANK YOU to all the parents and concerned citizens who came out today in both Carson City and Las Vegas to convey opposition to AB 186 as written! And to those of you who called, emailed, faxed; LEGISLATORS HEARD you! Several made comments on all the people who had contacted them!!!

We are hopeful (though not necessarily optimistic) that members of the Assembly Education Committee heard our plea and will work to amend the bill and leave the compulsory attendance age at 7. The next step will be for the Chairman to move this bill to a “Work Session”… NHN will keep you posted.

March 20, 2017 
Click here for joint Home School Legal Defense Association and NHN Call to Action
 – Make your opinion known!

March 19, 2017 – Neveda AB 186 Opposition.NHN.HSLDA Hearing CTA.1

AB 186 – Reduces Parental Control over Education; Hearing Scheduled 3/22/17

Call to Action Request – NEW message from NHN Officers and Mike Smith (HSLDA)

Bill: AB 186 (by Diaz)—lowers compulsory school attendance age from 7 to 5, makes kindergarten mandatory at age 5 and requires all school districts to provide prekindergarten for 4 year-olds in every public elementary school.

Position: Strongly oppose

Status: As introduced

Hearing:  Wednesday, March 22, 2017 at 3:15 p.m.  in Assembly Education Committee. Agenda: https://www.leg.state.nv.us/Session/79th2017/Agendas/Assembly/ED/Final/588.pdf

Action Requested

Thank you to all who have already contacted your own Assembly members and voiced your concerns regarding AB 186, but NOW more is needed!  We need ALL OF YOU to respond to this new action request to STOP this attempt by the state to get ALL children in school at five years of age.

Please call, email or fax members of the Assembly Education Committee NOW (contact info below). Include your name, address, and a short message (see Opposition Points below).  Subject:  Vote NO on AB 186.

Plan to attend the hearing on Wednesday, March 22nd at 3:15 in either Carson City or Las Vegas.

Location: Room 3142 of the Legislative Building, 401 S. Carson St., Carson City, NV.

Video-conferenced to Room 4406 of the Grant Sawyer State Office Building, 555 E. Washington Ave., Las Vegas, NV.

 

CONTACT INFORMATION for Education Committee Members:

Tyrone Thompson – Chair  Office Phone: 775-684-8569    Email: Tyrone.Thompson@asm.state.nv.us

Amber Joiner – Vice Chair  Office Phone: 775-684-8559     Email:  Amber.Joiner@asm.state.nv.us

Elliot T. Anderson                Office Phone: 775-684-8835     Email: Elliot.Anderson@asm.state.nv.us

Olivia Diaz                        Office Phone: 775-684-8553     Email: Olivia.Diaz@asm.state.nv.us

Edgar Flores                      Office Phone: 775-684-8583     Email: Edgar.Flores@asm.state.nv.us

Ozzie Fumo                       Office Phone: 775-684-8839     Email: Ozzie.Fumo@asm.state.nv.us

William McCurdy II           Office Phone: 775-684-8545     Email: William.McCurdy@asm.state.nv.us

Brittney Miller                   Office Phone: 775-684-8833     Email: Brittney.Miller@asm.state.nv.us

Heidi Swank                      Office Phone: 775-684-8595     Email: Heidi.Swank@asm.state.nv.us

Chris Edwards                   Office Phone: 775-684-8857     Email: Chris.Edwards@asm.state.nv.us

Lisa Krasner                      Office Phone: 775-684-8848     Email: Lisa.Krasner@asm.state.nv.us

Keith Pickard                     Office Phone: 775-684-8823     Email: Keith.Pickard@asm.state.nv.us

Jill Tolles                          Office Phone: 775-684-8837     Email: Jill.Tolles@asm.state.nv.us

Melissa Woodbury              Office Phone: 775-684-8503     Email: Melissa.Woodbury@asm.state.nv.us

Assembly Fax number for all:  1-775-684-8533 or Toll Free: 1-866-543-9941

Assembly Mailing Address: c/o NV Assembly; 401 S. Carson Street, Carson City, NV 89701-4747

Current Assembly Members: https://www.leg.state.nv.us/App/Legislator/A/Assembly/

Find Your Legislator: http://mapserve1.leg.state.nv.us/whoRU/

Summary of Concern

Under current law, parents can choose to have their child skip kindergarten and begin at the 1st grade at age 6 or even 7 if appropriate for the child as determined by the parent. If AB 186 were to pass, it would eliminate this current parental choice by mandating that every child attend school by age 5. This would go into effect at the beginning of the 2017-2018 school year.

Under AB 186, parents who would have chosen to delay their child’s entrance into formal education and skip kindergarten would be forced to start their children’s formal education two years earlier, before they feel it is best for their child.

The requirements of AB 186 would apply to pupils in public and private schools, as well as homeschools and rigidly compel school attendance based on age instead of readiness.

Advocates of extending government control over all children from birth will be able to use passage of AB 186 as a step toward establishing seamless, cradle-to-grave government-controlled education and development programs for all children.

Opposition Points

  1. Parents, not the state, should decide when their children are ready to attend public, private or home school, not the government.  The current compulsory attendance age of 7-18 more than satisfies the government’s goal of ensuring an educated populace while protecting a parent’s right to determine the child’s readiness for school attendance prior to age 7.  Many children are simply not ready to attend school at age 5 or even 6. However, for those parents who wish their child to attend school, the opportunity to do so already exists under current Nevada law.
  2. Lowering the compulsory attendance age from 7 to 5 will create an undue financial burden on parents who intend to enroll their child in private school but wish to choose to wait until their child turns 7. These parents will now be forced by state law to enroll their child one or two years earlier than planned or submit paperwork to homeschool their child at age 5 even if they determine their child is not ready for school. Homeschooling parents would be required to start their children’s formal education at age 5 as well.
  3. Requiring school districts to provide prekindergarten in every elementary school usurps local control of education and will create an undue financial burden for Nevada. There are no proven studies showing kindergarten promotes long-term educational success. To the contrary, research indicates that early education does not improve a child’s potential for being a better student in the future, because early gains disappear in a few years. Further, funding for other educational services vital to current public school students will be depleted.

Forward this email onto your friends and relatives as this affects all families in NV not just homeschoolers.

If you have not already done so, go to the Nevada Legislative Opinion page and vote your opposition to this bill here.  In addition, it is vitally important that you leave a COMMENT. Your comments will be viewed by lawmakers.

Thank you for your action to preserve this vital right of parental choice in Nevada.

NHN Officers:  Elissa Wahl, Matt Alder, Kelley Radow, Ray Poole, Aaron Sutherland, & Kristi Casuas       NHN Officer Emerita (active):  Barbara Dragon                                                                                                       in cooperation with Mike Smith, President HSLDA

______________________________________

AB 186 has been scheduled for a hearing in the NV Assembly Education Committee on WEDNESDAY, MARCH 22 at 3:15 pm.  Please plan to attend the hearing in Las Vegas or Carson City to register your opposition to the bill as currently written.  Click HERE for date, time, location info.

______________________________________

March 10, 2017 – UPDATE on our meeting with Assemblywoman Diaz on her bill, AB 186

After meeting with the sponsor of AB 186 last week, there appears to be some confusion. Assemblywoman Olivia Diaz believes that 5 and 6 year-olds who are already ENROLLED in a public school but are not attending the school on a regular basis are being “neglected” by their parent and that an age change in the compulsory attendance law is required to “fix” the problem.

But we pointed out that under existing law parents who voluntarily enroll their 5/6 year-old child ARE already contributing to truancy of the child if they are not sending the child to the school he/she is “enrolled” in and can be dealt with the same as parents of 7-18 year-olds. If that is her only motivation for the compulsory attendance age change, no change in the law is required. We also stressed that MOST parents already think the law requires them to enroll their child in Kindergarten at age 5 or 6 anyway!

There was also some discussion that she is concerned that there are 5 and 6 year-olds who are not enrolled in a public school and may not be receiving any instruction from their parents and they then arrive “delayed” at public school. We stressed that even if that were true in some cases, the law should not be changed as it would negatively impact a parent’s right to make the determination based on the child’s “readiness” for school instead of the child’s age.  Schools (both public and private) already work with the parent and child in determining proper grade placement when the child is enrolled at any age.

Lowering the compulsory attendance age would then force all children into “education” based on their age, as determined by government, instead of their “readiness” for academics as determined by the parent.  We have asked that the bill the bill NOT be moved forward as it is currently written.

March 1, 2017

                                            

Oppose Bill that Reduces Parental Control over Education

 A message from Mike Smith and Barbara Dragon

Dear HSLDA Members and Friends:
From: Mike Smith, HSLDA, in partnership with Nevada Homeschool NetworkBill: AB 186 (by Diaz)—lowers compulsory school attendance age from 7 to 5, makes kindergarten mandatory at age 5, and requires all school districts to provide prekindergarten for 4-year-olds in every public elementary school.Position: Strongly opposeStatus: Your response to AB 186 has been tremendous! Some of you have contacted your Assembly member, and 150  of you (as of 3/1/17 @ 7:00 pm) have formally registered your opposition to the bill on the Nevada Legislative Opinion page. As a result, AB 186 is in the top 10 of all bills based on the number of responses.The bill is still active and will require our continued opposition. We will probably contact you next about the bill when it is set for a hearing, likely in the Assembly Education Committee. At that time we will ask you to contact committee members and, if possible, attend the hearings in both Carson City and Las Vegas.

Action Requested

Please forward this email to anyone interested in opposing this bill. We have provided “opposition points” below to help you formulate your message. Also, if you haven’t contacted your Assembly member, please call or write, explaining your dissatisfaction. Find your legislator here. And finally, if you haven’t registered your opposition on the Nevada Legislative Opinion page, please do so at your earliest convenience.

Summary of Concern

Under current law, parents can have their child skip kindergarten and begin at the 1st grade at age 6 or 7. If AB 186 were to pass, it would eliminate this current parental option by mandating that every child attend school by age 5. This would go into effect at the beginning of the 2017-2018 school year.

Under AB 186, parents who would have decided to delay their child’s entrance into formal education and skip kindergarten would be forced to start their children’s formal education two years earlier, before they feel it is appropriate.

The requirements of AB 186 would apply to pupils in public and private schools, as well as homeschools.

Advocates of extending government control over all children from birth will be able to use passage of AB 186 as a step toward establishing seamless, cradle-to-grave government-controlled education and development programs for all children.

Opposition Points

Parents, not the state, should decide when their children are ready to attend school. The current compulsory attendance age of 7-18 more than satisfies the government’s goal of ensuring an educated populace while protecting a parent’s right to determine the child’s readiness for school attendance prior to age 7. Many children are simply not ready to attend school at age 5 or even 6. However, for those parents who wish their child to attend school, the opportunity to do so already exists under current Nevada law. The requirements of AB 186 rigidly compels school attendance based on age instead of readiness.

Lowering the compulsory attendance age from 7 to 5 will create an undue financial burden on parents who intend to enroll their child in private school but wish to choose to wait until their child turns 7. These parents will now be forced by state law to enroll their child one or two years earlier than planned or submit paperwork to homeschool their child at age 5, even if they determine their child is not ready for school. Homeschooling parents would be required to start their children’s formal education at age 5 as well.

Requiring school districts to provide prekindergarten in every elementary school usurps local control of education and will create an undue financial burden for Nevada. There are no proven studies showing kindergarten promotes long-term educational success. To the contrary, research indicates that early education does not improve a child’s potential for being a better student, because early gains disappear in a few years. Further, funding for other educational services vital to current public school students will be depleted.

Thank you for your action to preserve this vital right of parental choice in Nevada.

Mike Smith, HSLDA President
Barbara Dragon, NHN Officer

 

February 22, 2017

Click here for NEW joint message from NHN and HSLDA on AB 186!  Join the growing number of people making their voices heard on this bill to lower the Compulsory Attendance age from 7 to 5.

NEW study from Stanford University backs up what NHN has long said, parents should decide “when” their child is ready for school, not a state mandate.

We appreciate your support of the work of both organizations to protect homeschooling in Nevada and at the national level as well!  How you can help:

Parents, Join NHN first and receive a discount on your HSLDA Membership.

Grandparents and Friends, donations to Nevada Homeschool Network* and HSLDA – Homeschool Freedom Fund are welcome as well.

*Note: NHN is a 501c4 organization which benefits others through our lobbying efforts. Therefore, membership fees and donations are not tax deductible.  

 

February 15, 2017

Warning:  The NV Legislature is now in session.

AB 186  will lower the Compulsory School Attendance Age in Nevada from 7 to 5 years old!

The bill also mandates every School District maintain a Pre-K class in every school.We say:  “Let parents decide when their child is ready!”

February 15, 2017

Dear Concerned Citizens,

By way of introduction, Nevada Homeschool Network (NHN) advocates for Nevada families who have chosen to direct the education of their children.  In this capacity, we are writing today about AB 186. Among other things, AB 186 will lower the compulsory attendance age for entry into school from 7 to 5 years of age. This requirement will apply to all children, whether their parents plan to send them to public school or private school or homeschool.

We have several concerns with AB 186 as introduced:

  • We hold that Nevada parents should decide when their child is ready to attend school, not the government. The current age of 7 gives parents that opportunity.  Many children are simply not ready at age 5 or even 6.  However, for those parents who wish their child to attend school they may already do so under current Nevada law. “Choice in Education” should include “when” as well as “where”.
  • Requiring school districts to provide Pre-Kindergarten in every elementary school usurps local control of education and will create an undue financial burden for Nevada.  There are no proven studies showing Early Childhood Education (Pre-K) benefits the long-term educational success of the child.
  • Lowering the compulsory attendance age from 7 to 5, with no exemptions for age 5 or 6, may create an undue financial burden on parents who intend to enroll their child in private school but wish to choose to wait until their child turns 7.  These parents will now be forced by state law to enroll their child a year or two earlier than planned or submit paperwork to homeschool their child even if they determine their child is not ready for school.

Article II, Section 2 of the Nevada Constitution states, “…the legislature may pass such laws as will tend to secure a general attendance of the children in each school district upon said public schools.”  The key here is, “tend to secure” a general attendance which we believe is met under current law.

Therefore, NHN requests the help of all Nevadans to STOP this intrusive surge into what should be a parent’s right to determine when their child is ready to attend school.

What YOU can do now to help!

ACTION REQUESTED:

  1. Contact your Assemblyman/woman by mail, phone or email:

Assembly Contact info: https://www.leg.state.nv.us/App/Legislator/A/Assembly/

Who’s my Legislator?  http://mapserve1.leg.state.nv.us/whoRU/

What’s my district? http://mapserve1.leg.state.nv.us/whoRU/

  1. Please explain in your own words that this bill, sponsored by Assemblywoman Diaz is: a huge burden on the Nevada taxpayer, it is not in the Governor’s budget, it will required higher taxes that Nevadan’s can’t afford, it takes away local control of education by mandating school districts to provide Pre-Kindergarten in every school, and it undermines a parent’s right to decide when their child is ready for school.
  2. Share your opinion on AB 186 on the Legislative Opinion Page.
  3. Contact NHN and let us know that you agree with us by finding us on Facebook or emailing us . We also need people to meet with Legislators with us as well as attending hearings on this bill. For information on this and other bills affecting homeschool freedom link to our website.

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