Pooling their experience and desire to help families, home school leaders representing 48 states gathered in Washington, D.C., on March 7 for the "National Legislative Strategy Day" sponsored by Home School Legal Defense Association. A banquet the evening before gave leaders a chance to renew old acquaintances and make new friends. But early Thursday morning, participants were ready to seriously study the issues which will affect home schooling in the next year.
HSLDA attorneys Michael Farris, Christopher Klicka, and Doug Phillips briefed the home school leaders on the latest developments and strategies concerning a host of federal issues. The topics included the Parental Rights and Responsibilities Act, the national registry and identification system in the Immigration bill, the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child, abolishing the federal role in education, and the Careers Act. Several U.S. Senators and Representatives addressed the gathering on these issues, as well.
Even with the day's intense schedule, leaders found moments to laugh together, share hopeful stories from their home states, and affirm the hard work of legislators who want to help the family. Thunderous applause greeted each of the congressmen who took time out of their busy schedules to address the group. Rep. Steve Stockman (R-TX) rallied the troops by calling out, "Christ is risen!" eliciting the hearty response, "He is risen indeed!"
On March 8, HSLDA's Congressional Action Program coordinated a full lobbying day on Capitol Hill to coincide with the home school leaders' visit to Washington. As constituents, many of the leaders were able to meet directly with their U.S. Senators and Representatives.
Afterwards, the leaders returned to their states, armed with information to spread throughout their home school networks.