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2/27/2002 4:41:07 PM
Home School Legal Defense Association
Kentucky--House Bill 725 would mandate testing for home schoolers on welfare

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From the HSLDA E-lert Service...
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February 27, 2002

Dear Kentucky Members and Friends,

House Bill 725 is new Kentucky legislation which would force every
home schooler on welfare to take annual standardized tests. The
bill's sponsors are identified as Republicans Barbara Ann Colter and
Howard Cornett, but the bill was actually written by House Education
Committee Chairman, Frank Rasche. Since the committee chairman
controls which bills get a hearing, and this is Chairman Rasche's
bill, it is a serious threat that cannot be ignored.

We must protest any bill that singles out home school families on
welfare for discriminatory treatment and H.B. 725 does just that.
This injustice is especially evident in light of another bill also in
front of the House Education Committee. S.F. 168, which addresses the
"achievement gap" between rich and poor children in public schools,
does not require any special testing or identification of children on
welfare. Instead, it only distinguishes between children who qualify
for free lunches and those who do not. It would generally be
perceived as "politically incorrect" to amend S.F. 168 to single out
public school children on welfare for special testing. This gives us
an opportunity to highlight the injustice of H.B. 725, which would
single out home schooled children on welfare for testing.

REQUESTED ACTION:

We want every family to make between one and three telephone calls:

1. The most important action you can take is to help generate
telephone calls to Chairman Frank Rasche from his home district of
Paducah. If you live in or near Paducah, please call him! If you know
any supporters of home education in or around Paducah, please contact
them and ask them to call Rep. Rasche. His district office phone
number is 270-443-5167, and his Frankfort number is 502-564-8100,
ext. 634. Here are points callers should emphasize:

- It is unfair to single out home schooled children on welfare for
mandatory testing.
- Kentucky should deal with the "achievement gap" between rich and
poor children in the public schools before making it harder for
parents to pull children out of a failing program.
- If the committee votes to single out home schoolers on welfare for
testing, they should amend S.F. 168 to require testing for public
school students on welfare, too.

2. Please call Howard Cornett (the more open-minded sponsor of the
bill), and ask him to withdraw his support for H.B. 725. His district
office number is 606-832-4827, and his Frankfort number is 502-564-
8100, ext. 669.

3. If your representative is a member of the House Education
Committee, please call your representative to POLITELY tell him that
you oppose H.B. 725 because it discriminates against home schoolers
and families on welfare. Tell your legislator H.B. 725 sets up an
expensive new testing program for poor families all over the
Commonwealth, and ask whether he can tell you how much it would cost
to implement this program. If he cannot tell you the cost, ask him if
he have seen a fiscal impact statement on the bill.

HOUSE EDUCATION COMMITTEE
You can leave a message for your representative by calling 800-372-
7181 and asking for him by name.


Joe Barrows (56)
152 Stout Avenue
Versailles, KY 40383

Larry Belcher (49)
4804 Hickory Hollow Lane
Shepherdsville, KY 40165

Robert "Buddy" Buckingham (5)
1717 Magnolia Dr.
Murray, KY 42071

Mike Cherry (4)
803 S. Jefferson St.
Princeton, KY 42445

Jack L. Coleman, Jr. (55)
P. O. Box 600
Burgin, KY 40310

Hubert Collins (97)
72 Collins Drive
Wittensville, KY 41274

Barbara Ann Colter (90)
200 Langdon Avenue
Manchester, KY 40962

Jon Draud (63)
109 Vernon Dr.
Crestview Hills, KY 41017

Tim Feeley (59)
P.O. Box 64
Crestwood, KY 40014

H. "Gippy" Graham (57)
Room 432B, Capitol Annex
Frankfort, KY 40601

Jodie Haydon (50)
106 Hillcrest
Bardstown, KY 40004

Mary Lou Marzian (34)
2007 Tyler Lane
Louisville, KY 40205

Reginald K. Meeks (42)
P.O. Box 757
Louisville, KY 40210

Charles Miller (28)
3608 Gateview Circle
Louisville, KY 40272

Harry Moberly, Jr. (81)
P.O. Box 721
Richmond, KY 40475

Russ Mobley (51)
900 Holly Street
Campbellsville, KY 42718

Rick Nelson (87)
Rt. 3, Box 686
Middlesboro, KY 40965

Frank Rasche (3)
2929 Jefferson St.
Paducah, KY 42001

Tom Riner (41)
1143 E. Broadway
Louisville, KY 40204

Charles L. Siler (82)
3570 Tackett Creek Road
Williamsburg, KY 40769

Arnold Simpson (65)
Shutt Mansion
28 West Fifth Street
Covington, KY 41011

Dottie J. Sims (19)
459 Violet Ave.
Horse Cave, KY 42749

John Will Stacy (71)
P.O. Box 135
West Liberty, KY 41472

Kathy W. Stein (75)
364 Transylvania Park
Lexington, KY 40508

Gary Tapp (58)
2600 Mt. Eden Rd.
Shelbyville, KY 40065

Jim Thompson (27)
50 Crosier Bottom Rd.
Battletown, KY 40104

Mark A. Treesh (14)
5735 Grady Court
Philpot, KY 42366

Charlie Walton (66)
1663 Brierwood Court
Florence, KY 41042


BACKGROUND:

You can read the full text of H.B. 725 online at:
http://www.lrc.state.ky.us/record/02rs/HB725.htm

The most objectionable feature of H.B. 725 is the requirement that
every home school family on welfare has to take a standardized test
every year. Research indicates that home school families who earn
$15,000 or less in a year do as well as families that make $100,000
or more. This is not the case, however, for poor families who put
their children in public schools. Family income is one of the
strongest predictors of success or failure in the public schools,
where the rich seem to succeed while the poor tend to fall through
the cracks.

Any bill that requires testing for home schoolers on welfare should
be amended to require testing for every welfare child. Anything else
creates a serious injustice, because it punishes poor families who
pull their children out of failing public schools. If a child scores
below average on a standardized test, it could be because the parents
aren't really teaching him ... or it could be because he fell so far
behind in public school.

If every child on welfare had to take tests every year, it would be
easy to tell whether a home school program is an improvement over the
public school program. But if only home schoolers have to take tests,
the family of a student who fell way behind in public school may be
blamed for the public school's failure. The public school has the
power to drag these families into court in truancy battles, and
families on welfare usually have the fewest resources to defend their
rights in court.

Yours in the fight for freedom,

Scott W. Somerville, Esq.

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