51. New Kindergarten Statute and Homeschooling (5/11)

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Whereas the recent five-year-old kindergarten statute will result in children being put under increased pressure socially, academically, and emotionally; and

Whereas, in part due to Wisconsin Parents Association’s (WPA) work and testimony over the years opposing such legislation, it does not directly affect homeschoolers today but is confusing to homeschoolers and a cause of concern for what might happen as conventional schooling is being required at younger and younger ages; and

Whereas the recent statute means:

  • enforcing truancy laws on five-year-olds enrolled in conventional schools
  • providing more money for public schools
  • putting pressure on teachers and schools to show academic results at earlier ages
  • labeling and drugging more children
  • holding children back in grade; and

Whereas the statute does not mean children:

  • will have learned more
  • will be better socialized
  • will not lose out on essential learning skills
  • will be able to succeed academically; and

Whereas although the statute does not change anything about a parent’s ability to homeschool children for kindergarten, does not change the age at which children are subject to the compulsory school attendance statute, and does not change the age at which parents need to file PI-1206; the statute does mean that children who were homeschooled at age five and whose parents want to enroll them in a public school in Wisconsin for first grade will have to either get an exemption from the local school board or have their child satisfactorily complete kindergarten in a conventional school; and

Whereas the statute significantly promotes an approach to educating young children that WPA has and continues to oppose;

Be it resolved by members of WPA that WPA will work to ensure that the compulsory school attendance statute is not changed to include children younger than six; and

Be it further resolved that WPA, working through its members, will provide information for parents who want to know about the harm done by institutionalizing young children and about alternatives to institutionalized preschool. 5/2011

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