Senate Bill 362: Raises Compulsory School Attendance Age to 18


Last Updated: April 2, 2012
Senate Bill 362: Raises Compulsory School Attendance Age to 18
Senators Pugh, Benson, Conway, Currie, Forehand, Garagiola, Jones–Rodwell, Madaleno, McFadden, Stone, Ferguson, Pinsky, and Rosapepe

Despite warnings that it would undermine parental rights and cost taxpayers hundreds of millions of dollars, the Maryland legislature gave its final approval to SB 362.

Therefore barring something unforseen, starting on June 1, 2014, children in Maryland will be subject to compulsory attendance until they turn 17. And starting July 1, 2016, they will be subject to compulsory attendance until their 18th birthday.

In a late positive development, the Senate accepted the House amendments to the bill. Therefore the legal framework for homeschooling will remain unchanged, and as of June 1, 2014, students who have completed their program of home education are exempt from compliance.

The majority of Maryland lawmakers brushed aside the bill’s enormous price tag. The fiscal note attached to the bill estimated the cost at $56 million per year. Five years ago, Governor O’Malley’s task force estimated the cost at about $200 million per year.

Maryland citizens who love freedom now have a new challenge: between now and June 1, 2014, replace the lawmakers who voted in favor of SB 362 with lawmakers who will protect freedom!

HSLDA, Maryland Association of Christian Home Educators and Maryland Hand in Hand Homeschool worked together in amending the bill to protect the legal framework for homeschooling, and create a graduation exemption for homeschoolers.

Thank you for all your work in making phone calls, sending email, and visiting legislators!

HSLDA's Position:
Action Requested:

01/30/2012     (Senate)     Referred to Education, Health and Environmental Affairs Committee
02/15/2012     (Senate)     Committee hearing scheduled
03/19/2012     (Senate)     Committee report favorable
03/22/2012     (Senate)     Passed Senate, Referred to House Ways and Means Committee
04/04/2012     (House)     Hearing in House Ways and Means Committee
04/09/2012     (Senate)     Passed the Senate as amended by the House Ways and Means Committee

After passing both houses, this bill was approved by the Governor on 5/22/2012, and is now law.


The bills raise the compulsory age in two steps. The age would rise first from 16 to 17, then the next year it would rise to 18.

Thank you for standing with HSLDA for liberty!

 Other Resources

Bill Text

Bill History

Bill Fiscal Note

Final Report of the Task Force to Study Raising the Compulsory Public School Attendance Age to 18

HSLDA letter to President of the Senate

HSLDA letter to Speaker of the House of Delegates

Unofficial Amended Version of HB 373

E-lert February 14, 2012: Call Now to Stop Compulsory Age Expansion

E-lert March 22, 2012: Call Immediately to Stop Compulsory Age Increase, More Regulatory Power

E-lert March 23, 2012: SB 362 Fight Moves to House of Delegates

E-lert March 29, 2012: Help Needed Urgently on Compulsory Attendance, Homeschool Bill

E-lert March 30, 2012: Updates Posted on SB 362

E-lert April 2, 2012: SB 362, HB 373 Amendments in Progress: Continue Opposing

E-lert April 5, 2012: No More Calls on SB 362; Pugh Accepts Important Amendment But Dodges Huge Cost Issue

E-lert April 20, 2012: Compulsory Age Set To Rise to 18, Graduation Exemption in Place for Homeschoolers