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Illinois home educators oppose amending School Code with SB 3259

By Angela Wittman

Illinois home educators are rallying in opposition to SB 3259 which calls for amending the Illinois School Code compulsory school age from 17 to 18 years. Organizations calling for citizens to take action and call their state legislators include ICHE (Illinois Christian Home Educators) and HSLDA (Home School Legal Defense Association).

Disagreement concerning SB 3259 stems from the belief that parents are in the best position to know what is best for their 17 year-old children, whether it be higher education or perhaps an apprenticeship to prepare them for employment.  It may not be in the best interest of a young adult at 18 years of age to be forced to remain in school.

Home educated children often advance at a faster pace than students in government schools and as a consequence are ready for higher learning or career preparation such as a trade or technical school at an earlier age.  HSLDA states on their Academic Statistics on Homeschooling page under Independent Evaluations of Homeschooling that “in 1997, a study of 5,402 homeschooled students from 1,657 families was released... The study demonstrated that homeschoolers, on the average, out-performed their counterparts in the public schools by 30 to 37 percentile points in all subjects.”

The education committee hearing for SB 3259 is scheduled for Friday, February 24th. Home educators are encouraged to be ever vigilant in protecting their freedoms and contact their Illinois legislators right away. HSLDA provides this contact information for concerned citizens:

* James T. Meeks, chair
(217) 782-8066
* Kimberly A. Lightford, vice chair
(217) 782-8505
* Annazette R. Collins
(217) 782-6252
* Susan Garrett
(217) 782-3650
* Iris Y. Martinez
(217) 782-8191
* John G. Mulroe
(217) 782-1035
* David S. Luechtefeld, minority spokesperson
(217) 782-8137
* Christine J. Johnson
(217) 782-1977
* Kyle McCarter
(217) 782-5755
* Suzi Schmidt
(217) 782-7353

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