Senate Bill 43 seeks to extend the period of compulsory attendance by two full years! Currently the compulsory attendance ages are from ages 6 to 16. SB43 would add a year to both ends, making the compulsory attendance ages 5 to 17. In related news, Senate Bill 49 seeks to change the ages of compulsory attendance to ages 6 to 16 1/2 years.
According to the blog SWGA Politics , Democrats are behind 43 and Republicans are behind 49. Jeff also makes a good point about the Republicans not being much different than Democrats--both parties want to control how many years children need to be compelled to attend school. The difference is in degree, not kind.
These people want six months to two more years of our children's lives.
What for? Months and years of more useless testing? Years of not being able to be outside in the sunshine? More time for a butt to be in a seat? (Whether or not the mind is turned on is ALWAYS dependent on the free will of the child, so you can't possibly guarantee that any more actual learning will happen.) More money? (Ah, yes, that's something there.)
And by what right?
Parents and children are the only people who properly have any say about how a child's education is handled. I did not pop out these kids in order so that I--and they--may be bossed by the state of Georgia.
I can't decide what's worse--taking them younger or making them wait when they're older and could be doing something useful and productive for their own lives like getting a job and earning money.
Forcing parents to put their 5 year olds in Kindergarten means that some kids will be placed in a full-day learning environment before they are ready. There is no way Ryan was emotionally and developmentally ready for Kindergarten at the age of five (you homeschool co-op friends of mine remember!). Children of parents who don't want to or can't homeschool will be in trouble. And probably cause trouble for teachers, too.
Forcing teenagers to have their butts in a classroom seat prevents them from moving forward with their lives. I can't imagine that the kinds of kids who will be held in school against their will until they're 16.5 or 17 will be sitting there thanking the Georgia legislators for that extra year of learning time.
I'll be writing to my state representatives to urge them to vote against extending the compulsory attendance sentence for the kids in Georgia. After all, think of the poor children!