HSLDA Media Release
February 28, 2001

Maine legislative committee votes unanimously for home school freedom

For immediate release
February 28, 2001
Contact: Rich Jefferson
(540) 338-8663 or media@hslda.org

AUGUSTA, ME-Maine home schoolers won a resounding victory on Tuesday, Feb. 27, 2001, when a legislative committee voted unanimously to kill legislation that would have reduced home schooling freedom and seriously increased state regulation.

Legislative Document 405 would have made Maine the only state to require home schoolers to take a state test used chiefly to evaluate the progress of public school students. The test's official name is the Maine Educational Assessment (MEA).

Parents often choose home schooling because it enables them to customize curriculum to each child. By passing LD 405, the Maine legislature would have forced home schoolers to use the public school curriculum to properly prepare for the MEA.

Maine home schoolers sent a strong message to elected officials last week when hundreds of them jammed into committee rooms for a hearing on LD 405. The bill's sponsor, Senator Peter Mills (R-Cornville), backpedaled and withdrew his support for his own bill, but said he supported a study on home schooling in Maine.

The Maine Education and Cultural Affairs Committee not only stopped LD 405, it also voted against a legislative study on home schooling.

Scott Woodruff, an attorney with the Home School Legal Defense Association, commended Maine home schoolers for effectively communicating their concerns to the state legislature.

"This is a case of letting your voice be heard clearly by your elected officials. Home schoolers have demonstrated academic achievement at the highest levels. There is nothing to be gained academically by requiring home school students to take the Maine Education Assessment, and the committee understood this," said Woodruff.

"We provided the committee with more than 150 citations of previous studies on home schooling, and I think members saw the wisdom of spending tax dollars in better ways."

 Other Resources

More information on Maine's Senate Bill 129 (L.D. 405)