Legislative Document 1503: Increases Scope of Compulsory School Attendance Age


Last Updated: March 30, 2012
Legislative Document 1503: Increases Scope of Compulsory School Attendance Age
Senator Justin Alfond

Currently, Maine law requires that children between the ages of 7 and 16 attend school or comply with homeschool laws. If enacted, this bill would both lower the starting age of compulsory attendance to 6 and increase the ending age of compulsory attendance age to 17.

As originally written, LD 1503 would take away your freedom to decide whether school or some other path is best for your 17-year-old to follow. It would take away your freedom to decide if your 6-year-old is ready for mandatory education. And it would result in higher taxes as unprepared 6-year-olds and unwilling older students are forced to stay in schools.

Update: On March 30, the Maine Senate voted in favor of LD 1503 with the Espling amendment, as anticipated. This means the bill makes no changes to the ages of compulsory school attendance.

Thank you for your tremendous work in convincing lawmakers that parents, not the government, should decide the path for 5-year- olds and 17-year- olds to follow.

Thank you for your work on behalf of freedom in Maine!

HSLDA's Position:

Thank you for your awesome phone calls! They helped turn the tide on a bill that looked nearly unstoppable.

Encouraged by your many phone calls, yesterday the Maine House of Representatives added the Espling amendment to LD 1503. This took out all parts of the bill that would have pushed the starting age for compulsory school attendance down from 5 to 6 and the ending age up from 17 to 18. The remaining parts of the bill are not problematic.

No more phone calls are needed. Please consider sending a brief email to your representative thanking him or her for supporting the right of parents to choose what is best for their children and keeping the compulsory school age as is in LD 1503.

Representatives Eleanor Espling (New Gloucester) and Dana Dow (Waldoboro) have earned our special thanks for their leadership role on this important issue. Home Schoolers of Maine (HOME) once again demonstrated its effectiveness in protecting freedom in Maine.

LD 1503 has gone back to the Senate for further consideration. We will keep you informed, but we are cautiously optimistic that the Senate will leave the Espling amendment in place.

Thank you for your calls on behalf of freedom in Maine!

Action Requested:

04/20/2011     (House)     Introduced, referred to Committee on Education and Cultural Affairs
05/06/2011     (House)     Public hearing scheduled
05/06/2011     (House)     Education and Cultural Affairs Committee voted Ought to Pass as Amended.
06/14/2011     (House)      Passed to be Enacted
06/14/2011     (Senate)     Sent to Appropriations Committee
06/28/2011     (Senate)     Placed on Special Appropriations table
06/14/2011     (Senate)     Referred back to Education and Cultural Affairs Committee

2012 Actions:
02/16/2012     (Senate)      Engrossed by Senate
02/22/2012     (House)      Tabled
03/29/2012     (House)      Passed to be Enacted
03/30/2012     (Senate)      Passed to be Enacted

This bill has become law without the Governor's signature.


Homeschoolers of Maine (HOME) and HSLDA are united in opposing the attempt to expand compulsory school attendance age.

 Other Resources

Bill Text

Bill History

E-lert February 21, 2012: Call Today to Stop Compulsory School Age Expansion

E-lert February 23, 2012: Call Within the Next 2 Hours to Stop Compulsory School Age Expansion!

E-lert February 24, 2012: Call to Support Amending LD 1503!

E-lert February 29, 2012: Call to Support Amending LD 1503!

E-lert March 13, 2012: Call to Support Amending LD 1503!

E-lert March 23, 2012: Call Immediately to Support Amending LD 1503!

E-lert March 28, 2012: Victory Over Compulsory Age Expansion!

E-lert March 30, 2012: Update—Victory Over Compulsory Age Expansion