House Bill 4787: Raises Compulsory School Attendance Age to 18


Last Updated: January 15, 2010
House Bill 4787: Raises Compulsory School Attendance Age to 18
Representatives Tim Melton and Bert Johnson

This bill raised the Michigan compulsory school attendance age from 16 to 18. This change affects each child who turns age 11 on or after December 1, 2009, or a child who was age 11 before that date and enters grade 6 in 2009 or later.

Fortunately, there is a silver lining to this cloud of expanded state control over education. This increase in the compulsory attendance age will not apply to a child who is at least age 16 and whose parent or legal guardian has provided the local public school district with written notice that the child has permission to stop attending school. Additionally, the new law does not affect a child who turned age 11 before December 1, 2009, or who entered grade 6 before 2009.

Even though the new law contains the opt-out provision for families who do not wish to be subject to the compulsory attendance law beyond the age of 16, Home School Legal Defense Association opposed this legislation as an incremental encroachment into the right of parents to direct the education of their children. Our concern was that the next legislative action affecting compulsory attendance may be to remove the option of parents to permit their 16-year-old children to withdraw from school and pursue other interests.

HSLDA's Position:
Action Requested:
None at this time

4/2/2009 (House) Introduced, referred to Committee on Education
6/18/2009 (House) Reported with recommendation with substitute H-3
6/18/2009 (House) Referred to second reading
6/25/2009 (House) Read a second time
6/25/2009 (House) Substitute H-3 not adopted
6/25/2009 (House) Substitute H-5 adopted and amended
6/25/2009 (House) Placed on third reading
6/25/2009 (House) Placed on immediate passage
6/25/2009 (House) Read a third time
6/25/2009 (House) Passed; Yeas 70, Neas 38
6/25/2009 (House) Transmitted to Senate
7/15/2009 (Senate) Referred to Committee on Education
12/9/2009 (Senate) Reported by Committee of the Whole Favorably with Substitute S-4
12/9/2009 (Senate) Substitute S-4 concurred
12/9/2009 (Senate) Placed on order of third reading with substitute S-4
12/9/2009 (Senate) Passed; Yeas 24, Nays 13, Excused 1, Not Voting )
12/9/2009 (House) returned from Senate with substitute S-4 with title amendment
12/10/2009 (House) Senate substitute S-4 nonconcurred in
12/10/2009 (House) Roll Call vote; Yeas 0 Nays 108
12/16/2009 (House) House conferees named Reps. Tim Melton Douglas Geiss Phil Pavlov
12/17/2009 (Senate) Senate Named Conferees Sens. Wayne Kuipers, Gerald Van Woerkom, Samuel Thomas
12/17/2009 (House) referred to conference committee 12/16/2009
12/19/2009 (House) Conference report received
12/19/2009 (House) Conference report adopted; Yeas 65 Nays 33
12/19/2009 (House) Retransmitted
12/19/2009 (Senate) Conference report received in Senate
12/19/2009 (Senate) Senate adopted conference report, Roll call vote, Yeas 23, Nays 8, Excused 7, Not Voting 0
12/30/2009 (House) Conference report adopted by Senate with immediate effect
12/30/2009 (House) Bill ordered enrolled
12/30/2009 (House) Presented to the Governor 12/28/2009 @ 10:28 AM
1/4/2010 Approved by the Governor, assigned PA 204'09 with immediate effect

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Bill History