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2/28/2002 12:14:53 PM
Home School Legal Defense Association
Vermont--H. 703 DEADLINE TOMORROW, CALLS VITAL

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From the HSLDA E-lert Service...
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February 28, 2002

Dear HSLDA Members and Friend,

Tomorrow is the last day for the House Education Committee to approve
H. 703 in time to ensure that the Vermont Senate will take action on
it. Commissioner Raymond McNulty continues to fight hard to prevent
home school families from obtaining the benefits of this bill.

ACTION REQUESTED

If your representative is on the House Education Committee (see
contact information below), and you have not yet called, please call
him or her today. Every call makes a difference! If you have not yet
asked your home school friends to call, today is the day!

Your message can be as simple as:

"Please vote H. 703 out of committee without any department of
education amendments. Please put the wishes of the people above the
wishes of the bureaucrats. Current law allows the commissioner to
delay home school enrollment by up to 85 days. It also puts the
burden on families to prove they are not breaking the law. This means
innocent families could be subject to prosecution for child neglect.
H. 703 solves these problems by treating families as enrolled as soon
as they file their notice. It allows families to home school unless
the commissioner demonstrates they are not complying with the law."

If you have not yet called Commissioner McNulty to ask him to stop
opposing H. 703, please call him today. Your message can be as simple
as: "Please stop opposing H. 703. The bill would be good for home
school families and good for Vermont. It brings a measure of fairness
and balance to the home school law."

BENEFITS OF H.703

H. 703 would bring two major improvements to the home school law.

First, it would allow families to be confident they are complying
with the law immediately upon filing an enrollment notice, instead of
having to wonder for weeks or months.

Second, if the commissioner calls a hearing, H. 703 would allow the
family to home school unless the commissioner proves they are not
complying with the law. Currently, the family is ordered to stop home
schooling unless they prove they are not breaking the law. This small
but important change brings fairness. It honors the principle that
every citizen is entitled to the presumption of innocence unless
there is evidence to the contrary.

The commissioner's staff is telling members of the House Education
Committee that H. 703 will somehow do away with truancy completely.
This is utterly groundless. Home school families will still have to
follow all the other requirements of the home school law, and can
still be prosecuted if they do not. H. 703 does not change other
parts of the home school law or truancy in general. The only changes
it makes are the two outlined above.

CONTACT INFORMATION

Commissioner Raymond McNulty: (802) 828-3135

House Education Committee: Call (802) 828-2228 to leave a message for
a representative. (Do not use 828-2231.) If you do not know who your
representative is, you can look it up with the legislative toolbox on
HSLDA's web site (http://www.hslda.org/toolbox).

HOUSE EDUCATION COMMITTEE MEMBERS

Rep. Howard Crawford of Burke, Chair
Rep. Jason Barney of Highgate, Vice-Chair
Rep. Jack Anderson of Woodstock
Rep. Erron Carey of Chester
Rep. George Cross of Winooski
Rep. Virginia Duffy of Rutland City
Rep. Kathy LaVoie of Swanton, Clerk
Rep. Alice Miller of Shaftsbury
Rep. Donny Osman of Plainfield
Rep. Neil Randall of Bradford
Rep. Susan Wheeler of Burlington

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