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2/4/2002 5:11:40 PM
Home School Legal Defense Association
Maine--URGENT: Your Attendance Needed on Friday

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From the HSLDA E-lert Service...
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February 4, 2002

Dear Maine Members and Friends,

On Friday, February 8, there will be a public hearing at the Maine
Department of Education (DOE) concerning regulations granting the
department broad, new powers that will hurt the home school movement.
Your attendance can make the difference in preserving home school
freedom!

ACTION REQUESTED:

Please plan to attend this important meeting to show that you oppose
the Department of Education's proposed changes to Chapter 130 of the
home school regulations. It is imperative that we have as many home
schoolers show up as possible. This change must be stopped and our
rights protected. Please forward this e-mail to all your home
schooling friends and urge them to come to the hearing.

The hearing will be held this Friday, February 8, from 1:00 to 3:00
p.m. and will take place in Jewett Hall Auditorium, Room 156, at the
University of Maine, on University Drive, Augusta.

ANALYSIS:

Currently, the DOE must approve a home school application within 60
days. The department now seeks the right to delay decisions on home
school applications beyond the 60-day period if they are not
"complete." The new regulations do not define the word "complete,"
so the interpretation is left totally within agency discretion. This
subjects families to the threat of criminal prosecution and child
neglect proceedings for an indefinite period of time.

The proposed revision also inserts a new qualification before an
application is considered. It states, "In order to be considered for
approval, an application must include a copy of the annual assessment
. . ." The word "considered" is not defined. Assuming that an
application that does not include an assessment will not be
considered, the commissioner may take the position that the family
cannot begin the equivalent instruction program even after the
expiration of 60 days of silence.

The DOE's revision also states that "failure to submit annual
assessments for a prior school year may result in the denial of an
application for a subsequent school year." The phrase "a prior
school year" could easily be construed to mean "any prior school
year." If this were to happen, a family might have their application
denied in the present year on account of failure to submit an
assessment five years ago.

HSLDA strongly opposes the revisions to Chapter 130 of the home
school regulations. Your attendance at this meeting to show your
opposition and stand for home school freedom is needed! I hope to see
you there!

Sincerely,

Scott A. Woodruff, Esq.

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