From the HSLDA E-lert Service:
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Date:
From:
Subject:

2/28/2002 6:19:53 PM
Dewitt T. Black III, Esq., Senior Counsel of HSLDA
Connecticut--Urgent Calls Needed on Raised H.B. 5535

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

Dear Connecticut HSLDA Members and Friends,

Home schooling freedoms in Connecticut are in jeopardy! Raised House
Bill 5535, just introduced in the Connecticut General Assembly would
change Connecticut from one of the least restrictive states for home
schooling to one of the most restrictive. Raised H.B. 5535 would do
away with the favorable guidelines under which home educators have
operated since 1990 and impose burdensome statutory requirements on
parents. On Monday, March 4, 2002, the Joint Committee on Education
will hold a hearing on Raised H.B. 5535 at 1:00 p.m. in Room 2C of
the Legislative Office Building. Your telephone calls are vital in
the effort to defeat this dangerous bill.

REQUESTED ACTION

Call as many committee members (listed below) as possible and give
them this message:

"Please vote against Raised House Bill 5535, which imposes
unnecessary and burdensome restrictions on home educators. Home
schooling has proved to be a successful educational option in
Connecticut under current law."

If possible attend the hearing on Monday and let the members of the
Joint Committee on Education know of your opposition.

These legislators need to know that home educators in Connecticut
appreciate their freedom and do not want more state oversight. The
goal is to defeat this bill at the earliest stage possible and send a
clear message to prevent such onerous legislation from being
introduced in the future.

Members of the Joint Committee on Education:
Sen. Thomas P. Gaffey, Co-Chair 800-842-1420
Rep. Cameron C. Staples, Co-Chair 800-842-8267
Sen. Mary Ann Handley, Vice Chair 800-842-1420
Rep. Nancy E. Kerensky, Vice Chair 800-842-8267
Sen. Thomas J. Herlihy, Ranking Member 800-842-1421
Rep. Robert W. Heagney, Ranking Member 800-842-1423
Sen. William A. Aniskovich 800-842-1421
Rep. Nancy Beals 800-842-8267
Rep. David H. Blackwell 860-240-8700
Rep. Antonietta Boucher 800-842-1423
Rep. Lawrence F. Cafero 800-842-1423
Rep. Michael J. Cardin 800-842-8267
Rep. Melody A. Currey 800-842-1902
Rep. Konstantinos Diamantis 800-842-8267
Rep. William R. Dyson 800-842-8267
Sen. Bill Finch 800-842-1420
Rep. Patrick J. Flaherty 800-842-1423
Sen. John W. Fonfara 800-842-1420
Rep. Mary G. Fritz 800-842-1902
Sen. Robert L. Genuario 800-842-1421
Rep. Demetrios S. Giannaros 800-842-8267
Rep. Kenneth P. Green 800-842-8267
Rep. Themis Klarides 800-842-1423
Rep. Denise W. Merrill 800-842-8267
Rep. Sandy Nafis 800-842-8267
Rep. Claudia M. Powers 800-842-1423
Rep. Felipe Reinoso 800-842-8267
Rep. Kevin Ryan 800-842-8267
Rep. Pamela Z. Sawyer 800-842-1423
Rep. Pat T. Shea 800-842-1423
Rep. Lewis J. Wallace 800-842-8267
Rep. Patricia M. Widlitz 800-842-8267
Rep. Roberta B. Willis 800-842-8267

BACKGROUND

We at HSLDA do not know what prompted the introduction of this
legislation or the extent of the support for its passage. But it is
crucial that this proposal be stopped before it gains more momentum
from favorable action of the Joint Committee on Education.

This bill would create the following new restrictions on home
instruction programs in Connecticut:

- An annual notice of intent to home school must be filed with the
superintendent of schools within 10 days after the start of
instruction.

- The notice must include the name of the person providing
instruction and proof that the instructor has a high school diploma
or its equivalent, a description of the subjects to be taught and the
materials to be used, a schedule of days of instruction that consists
of a minimum 900 hours per calendar year and the scheduling of an
independent method of assessment of the child's academic performance,
as approved by the commissioner of education.

- The superintendent must evaluate the notice for completeness and
maintain the notice as part of the school district 's permanent
records.

- The superintendent must review the results of an independent method
of assessment of the child's academic performance or conduct a
portfolio session with the parent. A portfolio session must display
evidence of compliance with the instruction program described in the
notice of intent.

- The superintendent must send a letter by certified mail, return
receipt requested, to any parent filing an incomplete notice or to
any parent failing to file a required notice. Any child whose parent
fails to comply with the notice requirements or any other provisions
of the new law will be considered truant.

- Each school district would be required to annually report the
number of home schoolers to the Connecticut Department of Education.

To view a copy of the bill, visit
http://www.cga.state.ct.us/2002/TOB/h/pdf/2002HB-05535-R00-HB.pdf.

For more information on this and other Connecticut bills, visit our
website at http://www.hslda.org/legislation/state/CT/default.asp.

Very truly yours,

Dewitt T. Black, III
HSLDA Senior Counsel

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