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May 29, 2015

Governor Vetoes Compulsory School Age Increase

Scott Woodruff Senior Counsel Scott Woodruff helps members and advocates for homeschool freedom in your state. He and his wife homeschooled their children.

After HSLDA and Homeschoolers of Maine asked homeschool families to call and oppose LD 311—which would have lowered the age of compulsory school attendance from 7 to 5—lawmakers stood up and took notice. They amended the bill so it would only apply if parents enrolled their child in a public school. With this change, the bill no longer directly impacted homeschoolers—or any family that just wanted their 5- or 6-year-old to have more time at home.

The bill then passed both houses of the legislature. When the bill came to governor LePage’s desk, however, he vetoed it. The legislature tried to override the veto, but came up short. This means the veto stands and the bill does not become law.

Avoiding a Trap

If the bill had become law, it would have been another step in the continuing trend to force younger and younger children into school. It could also have created a trap for some families. If their 5- or 6-year-old had experienced attendance problems and a judge had gotten involved, the family might have been prevented from starting a homeschool program.

The governor said: “I cannot support a law that would interfere with the right of parents to decide when their children are ready for school. This bill marks an invasion of the government into family matters.” To read his entire veto message, click here.

We commend the governor for respecting the important role parents play in the lives of their children and vetoing the bill.

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Protect Your Family

If you or someone you know is not a member of HSLDA, will you consider taking a moment today to join or recommend us? Your support enables us to defend individual families threatened by government officials and protect homeschooling freedom for all. Join now >>