The Home School Court Report
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MAY / JUNE 2000
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Cover Story
A Tribute to Home School Moms

Special Features

Changing of the Guard

Legal Contacts for March/April 2000

National Center Reports

CAP Training and Lobby Day

Elementary and Secondary Education Act

Marriage Tax Penalty Relief

Across the States

State by State

Regular Features

Press Clippings

Prayer and Praise

Active Cases

President’s Page

N  A  T  I  O  N  A  L     C  E  N  T  E  R     R  E  P  O  R  T  S
Freedom Watch
CAP Training and Lobby Day

United States home schoolers are beginning to make bigger headlines, at home and abroad.

Training—March 16

In the background, Japanese cameramen film National Center Executive Director Christopher Klicka (left) addressing CAP trainees.

Curious about the impact home schoolers are having on America’s legislative process, Wall Street Journal reporter Daniel Golden from Boston, as well as Maki Hatae, a journalist from Japan, sat in on a March 16 training session for home school lobbyists. The Congressional Action Program (CAP) Basic Training for Home School Lobbyists was sponsored by Home School Legal Defense Association’s National Center for Home Education.

CAP volunteer lobbyists Gordon Caylor and son David intently listen to legislative tips.

HSLDA Vice President and co-founder Mike Smith, along with his wife Elizabeth, kicked off the day with encouraging words about the effectiveness home schooling families have in the political process. Other speakers included HSLDA Director of Government Affairs Doug Domenech, CAP Director Caleb Kershner, and Assistant CAP Director Samuel Redfern. These speakers briefed attendees on the political process, the nuts and bolts of home school lobbying and how home schoolers can use technology to their lobbying advantage. National Center Executive Director Christopher Klicka updated the group on federal legislation affecting home schoolers.

President Mike Farris presents Congressman John Hostettler with HSLDA’s 1999 Home School Freedom Award.

After lunch, HSLDA President Michael Farris presented Congressman John Hostettler (R-IN-8th) with HSLDA’s 1999 Home School Freedom Award for his work enabling home schoolers to serve in the U.S. military and his bill to allow parents to give the IRS an alternative identification for their children for tax deduction purposes. Congressman Hostettler and John Mashburn, a home schooling father and policy director from Senator Paul Coverdell’s (R-GA) office, also addressed the trainees.

Many new CAP families are now ready at a moment’s notice to defend liberty in the gates of our nation.

Lobby Day—March 29

On March 29, just two weeks after CAP Basic Training, these lobbyists had the opportunity to test their newly acquired skills. More than 70 home school volunteers delivered information packets to each of the 435 U.S. House offices. The packets contained persuasive arguments and supporting documentation highlighting the importance of passing the Education Savings Account (H.R. 7), eliminating the state National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) test, and supporting the Children’s Alternative Tax Identification Act (H.R. 2494). (See our Issues Library at Volunteers also provided each congressman with a complimentary copy of Dr. Brian Ray’s newly released Home Schooling on the Threshold, a compilation of the most recent home schooling studies.

Sixteen CAP lobby teams personally met with the staff for members of three important House committees—Education Workforce, Ways and Means, and Appropriations. Several CAP teams were able to directly visit actual congressmen—one team met with four different congressmen. Many offices responded positively to the home schoolers’ visits.