|HSLDA Media Release||March 22, 2001|
Minnesota home schoolers defeat attempts at more regulation
For immediate release
March 22, 2001
Contact: Rich Jefferson
(540) 338-8663 or firstname.lastname@example.org
ST. PAUL, MINNESOTA Hundreds of Minnesota home school families converged on the Senate Education Committee yesterday, March 21, 2001, and successfully derailed an attempt by the legislature to increase home school regulations in the state.
According to current state law, parents are already required to submit annual notices of intent, meet certain teacher qualifications or file quarterly reports, and administer annual standardized tests to their children.
Under one portion of Senate Bill 866, home schooling parents who are already providing effective home education, would have been required to prove they have a high school diploma. But the committee heard convincing testimony that studies on home schooling reveal that parents who have not completed high school are more than capable of teaching their own children effectively through high school.
Because home schoolers demonstrated their opposition to this provision in such numbers, the committee defeated that part of the bill unanimously.
Christopher Klicka, senior counsel with the Home School Legal Defense Association, traveled to Minnesota to support the work of state home school leaders fighting the bill.
"Minnesota home schoolers provided an incredible response. We had a definite sense that the committee was impressed with how many people showed up to resist this attack on parental rights and home school freedom," Klicka said.
Most of the home schoolers in attendance could not fit in the committee room. They were forced to listen to the testimony on a public address system. Although vocal responses were not allowed in the committee room, committee members could hear the cheering at key points in the testimony from home school families packed in the hallways and adjacent rooms.
Minnesota law now dictates that parents administer standardized tests to their children, but under S.B. 866 state regulation would increase tremendously by requiring parents to annually submit standardized test scores to their local superintendents. This part of the bill was defeated 23-7.
Minnesota already has some of the most burdensome regulations for home schoolers, Klicka said. "Minnesota home schoolers and their leaders are doing a great job. If anything, Minnesota ought to commend its home schoolers by reducing the regulations, not by trying to make things tougher on these families."
The Associate Press ran a wire story covering yesterday's Senate Education Committee hearing. It was published at http://www.pioneerplanet.com and http://www.startribune.com/. The Star Tribune and Pioneer Press are published in Minneapolis-St. Paul.
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