In the 2022 legislative session, Washington Democrat Senators Lisa Wellman and Claire Wilson sponsored SB 5537 to lower the age of compulsory attendance for school from 8 to age 5. Thanks to thousands of Washington parents speaking up against this, the bill died.
This week that bill has been resurrected and pre-filed by Senator Wellman in SB 5020 and is nearly identical. During committee meetings last session, Wellman introduced an amendment to the SB 5537 to change the age to 6. This new bill is the same as the last but including the amended age.
This is another way for the state to get their hands on your children at an earlier age. In a committee hearing last session Senator Wellman said: “We can’t allow ourselves and our children to not have the same head-start as those that they will be competing with for jobs in the future.”
But that’s not what this bill is about. It’s not delaying a head-start for children, it’s the government deciding when that time should be, instead of the parents deciding when the time is right for their child to enter school. If we learned anything in the last 2 years it’s that the government and the teachers’ unions do not know what is best for children, parents do!
Many parents appreciate the compulsory age being 8 because during these younger years, children mature and develop at vastly different rates, and it can be very beneficial for the child to have the flexibility of learn as the parents deem appropriate. With the Covid lockdowns and face masks, we are seeing many developmental delays in children across the board. These delays caused by the mishandling of Covid are yet another reason parents need to be the ones to decide when the appropriate time to start school is for their child. Many of these parents choose public school for their child, but some don’t.
Ultimately, education should be about funding students, not systems. This bill is another way for the state government to infringe upon the rights of parents.
Conservative Ladies of Washington will oppose this bill and we ask for your support in doing so and helping us spread the word to parents and citizens around the state. As this bill moves through the legislative process, we will keep you updated as to how you can make your voice heard.
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